September 29, 2017

Flexible Seating

Back in January, we talked about flexible learning spaces and how they can transform the learning environment in your classroom. Teachers around the district are continuing to drop traditional seating in favor of flexible seating.

Ms. Madron's Classroom at Classen SAS makes use of a variety of seating options while maintaining a table or two for students who prefer traditional workspaces. 

Students can store their supplies in the white bins that double as their seats. The use of exercise balls as seating is becoming a popular option for students who need to fidget without being disruptive. These exercise balls have a base to keep them from rolling away. Since this is a large classroom the teacher has chosen to spread the students out to fill the space.

Bean bag chairs with arms and backrests discourage students from excessive lounging and are easily shuffled out of the way for group presentations. Most teachers arrange the bean bag chairs in groups of three or four, but there are many options as your space allows. Rugs are another, often overlooked, popular option with students.

Ms. Hyatt's Classroom at Classen SAS makes use of many different seating options along with soft and natural lighting.

In addition to many seating options, there are several distinct areas where students can collaborate. The students in this classroom work in close proximity to each other and when extra space is needed, the teacher utilizes the narrow hallway leading to the room. This classroom also has a north facing window which allows in natural light. 

Along with natural light, this classroom also features soft lighting in the form of matching floor lamps. Students also have the option to sit on barstools or work standing at the tables against the back wall. Barstools often stack and can easily be pushed under their tables or to a corner when not in use.

For other Ideas:

Things to Keep in Mind:

Classroom management is a must
Teachers have the need to educate diverse students within a complex classroom context and this can be achieved by effective classroom management. Teachers must take action to create a learning environment which supports both the academic and social-emotional learning of each student.

Donor's choose is not just for IPads!
Instead of adding an IPad or two, why not invest in seating options?

Don't be afraid to stand
Standing desks are gaining popularity and are a great way for students who don't do well sitting for long periods of time.

Don't forget the lights
Flexible seating is a great way to transform your classroom, but why settle for harsh florescent lighting when you have other options. If you are lucky enough to have a window in your classroom, use it.  Don't be afraid to bring that old floor lamp from home up to your classroom.

Students will learn more when they are comfortable!

Ideas, Examples, and Resouces
Flexible Seating Student Centered Classroom-Kayla Delzer
So you want Ipads in your classroom
Flexible Spaces Flexible Learning

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