Saturday, August 17, 2013

Author's Chair ~ Share Chair

Many years ago, I spent a lot of time making an author's chair.  If you aren't sure what an author's chair is, it is "just" (Not really "just," but there's more on that at the end of the post) a fancy chair your author-students sit in when reading their work to the class.  Somehow, one year, my chair disappeared from my room.  I'm pretty sure it was probably broken misplaced one summer during the room cleanings.  Lately, I've been toying with the idea of creating a new author's chair.  While the summer has flown by, I've not abandoned the idea.
I have an old, wooden chair like the one above that would be perfect for the project.  In fact, I turned to Pinterest for some inspiration and was so amazed at how creative my fellow teachers are that I decided to share some of it here.  The pictures are from the teachers' blogs or their Pinterest boards, and I have tried to link directly to each.  However, some of the pictures had no blog or site linked to them. The just linked back to the image.  If you know who a chair belongs to, please leave a comment and I will happily add the link to the teacher's blog, Pinterest board, or web page.

Let's begin with some . . .

Author's Chairs!

Lauren is not a blogger, but a pinner!  She pinned her author's chair on her Pinterest board: My Creations. Instead of a standard chair, she used a director's chair.

Angie Austin is an artist that paints author's chairs for teachers.  Below is one featured on her blog.  If you visit her blog, you can see some others she has designed.

Stephanie Mellon painted this chair for her classroom.  She doesn't seem to have a blog, but posted her picture on her Pinterest board. Her chair is amazing!  Her picture collage below shows you the many steps involved in this project.

Here's  another great chair from Pinterest that only links back to the image.  I love the pencils painted across the back.

Here's another amazing chair that links back to an image.  This chair looks like it took a lot of time, effort, and love of teaching!

The chair below is painted by Priscilla Zachary for her school teacher daughter.  As far as I can tell, Priscilla also doesn't have a blog, but posted her picture on her Pinterest board that you can see here. Priscilla is very talented as evidenced by this amazing paint job!

This picture also links to the image on Pinterest, but I had to include it for its simplicity.  If you don't have time to paint a chair, simply grab some ribbons, a chair cushion, and some Sharpies.  No painting needed.  Also, this chair could fold up for easy storage when not in use.

Share Chairs!
Share chairs are nice because they aren't limited to author's use only.  
You can use a share chair for any kind of presentation.

Heather, from Fifth Grade Frenzy has created a super snazzy share chair. I like this chair because it fits in with my room's color theme this year.

Ms. K at Teacher Blog Spot shares a genius idea for a quick, cheap, and easy share chair a teacher in her building came up with.  All you need is a plastic lawn chair and some stickers.  Imagine how cute this would be with a lawn chair in a cute color and some themed stickers.

Who needs an actual chair? Stools takes up less space and need less paint!

Amanda at First Time for Everything has added some fun pom-pom trim to her stool.

Beth, the Inspired Writing Teacher, has this very colorful stool as an author's chair. If you follow the link to her blog, you will see that she also has an actual author's chair, too.

Here's another colorful stool posted by Kelly on her Pinterest board that is used as an author's chair.

All Purpose Celebration Chairs!
An all purpose celebration chair is more of what I had in mind for my classroom.  I like a chair that you can do an author's celebration in as well as be a reward chair to sit in for good behavior or birthdays.  

Hope at 2nd Grade Shenanigans made a most amazing chair.  Love the feathers!  You can hardly tell, but the chair is a basic wooden school chair.  Hope shows you the before and after in her blog post. I love her blog! 

Debbie Clement is an author/illustrator who visits schools.  She took the picture of the chair below on one of her visits and posted it on her blog, Rainbows Within Reach. Imagine the possibilities with a chair labeled Imagine!

Here's a really fun chair for those not into painting. Mel D. at Seusstastic Classroom Inspirations made this awesome celebration chair using tissue paper, old Dr. Seuss books, and Mod Podge. Love it!

And, Finally. . . 
How about a reading BENCH?
I love how so many favorite books have been incorporated in the paining.  I also love all the books laying on the seat.  I'm not sure I'm talented enough to pull off something like this!  Again, this is a picture that only links back to an image, but I would love to know who created this gem.

Here's an amazing idea!  The Ethelbert B. Crawford Library in Monticello, New York had children paint reading chairs and auctioned them off.  If you follow THIS LINK, you can see several of the chairs the kids created.  The library was able to raise $1300!  If your school has some older chairs, wouldn't that be a great art/literacy project?  Instead of auctioning them off, they could be great additions to the school's media center or front office.

There's more to the author's chair than "just" a presentation seat.  When an author is in the chair, it is a time for the reader author to practice public speaking, fluency, and prosody. There is also the joy they get from seeing the power of their words.  I will always remember a time a friend was reading a story to the rest of our class that had a very funny moment in it.  When he read that part, the entire class laughed so much that he had to pause in his reading.  When he was done, I pointed out to him (and the class) that his written words had the power to make an entire group of children laugh for quite a while.  His words made people experience joy.  I told him, and the class, that THAT IS THE POWER OF AN AUTHOR!  The look on his face was priceless.  He really hadn't understood until that moment that words have power and as the author, he wields that power.

For listeners, it is a time to practice active listening skills and social skills for audience behavior.  Often, during author's celebrations, the class is asked to respond to the author with one specific compliment and a question.  You can't do that if you aren't actively listening!

If you are new to using an author's chair or just want some ideas on how to make it more meaningful,
here are a couple of resources that might help:

  • Click here to see how Teacher Vision has outlined exactly what an author's chair is and how to use one.
  • The Oakland Unified School District,  via their Writing Proficiency Project, has a nice printable of tips for making your authors' chair a successful experience for all.  Click here for the pdf.
   In addition to showing some great chairs, the links will take you to some great blogs to explore.
Hopefully, you have found some chair inspiration! 


    Love these great chairs! You can see mine at the link above!

  2. This is awesome...thanks for sharing your creativity with us. I had to share on my facebook page. Many blessings, Tracey.

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  4. i share your post into my facebook. i'm not a teacher. but a children book author... not so good in english, but i love the idea of author's chair... may be it could work in my country..:)

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