How to Implement Flexible Seating in the Classroom

flexible seating
flexible seating
Flexible seating is where students are given a choice in what kind of learning space works best for them.

We have been hearing the term ‘flexible seating’ a lot lately. I’ve read where some call it a new fad and say they are not jumping on the alternative seating bandwagon. I am not really sure if flexible seating is a new idea though. I have some pretty fond and vivid memories of my kindergarten days back in 1980. We sat on a huge rug and listened to our teacher read stories and instruct, we could work in different areas of the room, and we had a large cardboard house we would go in and read our books to each other. See…sounds a lot like flexible seating doesn’t it? No wonder I loved my kindergarten experience!

Whether it is a new fad or not, classrooms that have implemented flexible seating have reported some pretty remarkable things. Improved grades,  happier and more engaged students, as well as students having more stimulating conversations are just a few things that have been reported.  ({Fist pump} Sign me up!)

Now you may be asking yourself, “Is flexible seating right for me?”  What we really have to ask ourselves is, “Is it right for my students?”  You have to take a long hard look at your group of kiddos and decide what would be the best type of learning environment for them. Whatever your decision is, be sure it allows your students to work collaboratively, communicate, and engage in critical thinking.

If you are ready to transition to flexible seating then read on to get some tips on how to implement it in your classroom.

How to implement Flexible Seating in your classroom

Before you begin

Make sure you have a discussion with your administrator about implementing flexible seating in your classroom. You will want their support and thumbs-up before you begin.

Classroom Arrangement 

Start by taking a look at your classroom size. Decide on how you will arrange your classroom. Look at Pinterest to get some inspiration. (You can always count on Pinterest for wonderful ideas!) Here are a few things to keep in mind…

  1. Desks- It is good to keep some in the room. Some children have different body styles and are not comfortable working on the floor.  Some students just prefer to work at a desk.
  2. You will want an area or space for whole group instruction.
  3. Where will you store student’s books and materials?
  4. Will your classroom supplies be community supplies?

Flexible Seating Options

What types of options will you offer in your room? Check out the list below to get some ideas. Don’t be limited to only these ideas. Be creative! When it comes to flexible seating ideas the sky’s the limit.

  • other items to add are rugs, lighting, and music

Funding

There are many funding options for flexible seating items.

1.Garage sales or resale shops are great places to find some gently used items at a bargain of a price.

2.Dollar Tree, Five Below, and the Target Dollar Spot will often have flexible seating items for only $5.00 or less.

3.If your school has a Parent Teacher Organization you can submit a request for items. PTO organizations are more than happy to support classroom activities and ideas. My PTO purchased my scoop rockers, futon, wiggle cushions, and stability balls.

flexible seatingflexible seatingflexible seating

4. You can ask for donations from your classroom parents. You can do this by sending home a letter or by writing a Donorschoose grant. Get your students excited about the idea and their parents will be more likely to make a donation to your project.

management

In order for flexible seating to be successful, you will need a strong classroom management plan.

Start with developing an anchor chart with flexible seating expectations and rules with the students. Ask them what they think would be good rules and expectations. Use these ideas, as well as your own, to develop your set of rules. Check out Megan Snable’s free Flexible Teaching Resource here.

A flexible seating student contract is another way to make your students accountable. Teach2Love has a free resource available here that also includes a parent letter as well.

As you roll out your flexible seating you will want to model what it will look like. Revisit your anchor chart every day in the beginning of implementation to give your students the reminder they will need. Make sure you are giving lots of praise for properly used resources. There is a fun brag tag freebie from Talkin Pinata here to reward your students for a job well done.

Enforce your rules. Don’t forget to be firm, be consistent, and be fair. You will have to give your students a chance to prove themselves. Don’t be surprised when they amaze you!

Flexible Seating and Whole Brain Teaching

I use Whole Brain Teaching in my 2nd-grade classroom for my overall classroom management plan. This year I wanted editable posters to be able to have the option to diversify the 5 rules to make them more suitable for flexible seating. I made these posters below that can be found in my Teachers Pay Teachers shop.

Click on the image below to view.

flexible seating

I hope this post gives you some ideas on how to implement flexible seating in your classroom!

flexible seating

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It’s Time for July Pinterest Pick 3 Linky

Pinterest Pick 3 July
It’s time for July Pinterest Pick 3 Linky with PAWSitively Teaching, The Inspired Owl, and Just Reed. I simply cannot believe it is July already. Where in the world did the month of June go?  At the end of the month I like to look back and see what all I accomplished.  I then set new goals for the upcoming month. I can always count on Pinterest to give me some motivational  ideas.
My July Pinterest Picks
Pinterest Pick 3 July
One of my goals is to pull out my Silhouette machine and make some of these adorable teacher tees. There are so many cute ones to get inspiration from! I love to wear a comfy tee, cardigan, and jeans on casual Friday… and these tees fit that description.
Pinterest Pick 3 July

Pinterest Pick 3 July
I am having so much fun trying out new apps this summer. If you have time check out Nutshell. It lets you snap 3 photos then add captions and graphics to your images. Then you create a mini-movie of your 3 images. Best of all…it is FREE!


Pinterest Pick 3 July

I’ve been working on my classroom little by little each weekday. My two oldest children have basketball open gym each day (one in the am and one in the pm) and it is not worth my time and fuel to drive home. Therefore, I stay at school and be productive.

First, I purged my room of unused and unwanted items.

Second, I arranged my classroom for flexible seating. I had some seating options last year but have added to it for the upcoming year. I love looking at other’s adventures in flexible seating on Pinterest. I can get so many wonderful ideas.

I hope you get some motivation and inspiration from my pins and boards. Be sure and check out all the other bloggers taking part in this linky to get ideas from them too.

Pinterest Pick 3 July

 

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Show and Tell Tuesday- June

show and tell tuesday

show and tell tuesday

Show and Tell Tuesday is today and I am linking up with Forever in 5th Grade. I am going to show you 4 pictures of things that are going on in my life and tell you about them.

show and tell tuesday

I am enjoying keeping up with @alliethegypsyteacher daily photo challenge for the month of June. Check it out on Instagram at #teacherlifeabcs or see mine here.

Show and Tell Tuesday

show and tell tuesday

So far, my summer has been consumed with watching my youngest play Little League baseball and my oldest two play summer basketball. I love watching them take enjoyment in their activities.

show and tell Tuesday

show and tell Tuesday

show and tell tuesday

Create! Create! Create! I have been trying to create a classroom theme for my own classroom and I am really struggling to finding something that I am absolutely in love with. I did, however, put together a travel theme for my bestie’s junior high classroom. Now to decorate her room with it!

show and tell Tuesday

show and tell tuesday

Flexible Seating:

In my own classroom I have been working on my flexible seating plan. My school PTO purchased a few items for me at the end this past school year.

  • stability balls
  • a mini futon
  • wobble cushions
  • scoop seats

I was super sad when they told me the futon was on back-order. I have been looking forward to it coming in this month! I am excited to incorporate it into my classroom seating options this upcoming school year. For this school year I will have

  • desks
  • long tables
  • round tables
  • futon
  • stability balls
  • wobble cushions
  • scoop seats
  • chairs with Bouncy Bands

What an exciting year to look forward to!

show and tell Tuesday

show and tell Tuesday

Thanks for dropping by!

show and tell Tuesday

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