Updated: Sep 1, 2018
Tanille stepped foot into a classroom in Arcola to observe a pre-service student and was blown away by the flex-seat options available in the class. The teacher actually wrote a grant to acquire the different seating options. The district saw the benefit and wrote more grants to see that more teachers could incorporate. Tanille immediately left the evaluation and did research.
Flexible Seating is a trend in classrooms nationwide. Benefits include:
1. Commit to Learning and enjoy the process!
The room becomes “ours” and gives the classroom a homey feel. The students feel a sense of ownership and like the freedom of choice. The teachers using this have said they noticed a change in the student's commitment to learning and significantly improved behaviors. When done correctly students move about the room more freely, share ideas, and are willing to work harder on their tasks. Provide suitable and comfortable options for everyone. Consider writing a grant instead of using your own money - it can get expensive!!!
2. SIMPLIFY - Less Is More
When you're ready to make the jump, know that you have to become more organized and make more room for these new seats. You can actually simplify the student's supplies and bins.Believe it or not, some seating options have places for additional storage. Pick up some cute baskets or storage tubs for organizing. Students even ask their teachers if more options can be incorporated as well as lamps and again that at home feeling is generally wanted and welcomed with open arms.
3. Student control
Choosing where they want to sit is empowering. Varieties of rugs, high, medium and low seating, including a bean bag chair, couch, seating cushions, and exercise balls - (which is supposed to strengthen the core). Stand-up tables are even being incorporated. Students feel it helps them become their best learning self and offers them to quietly socialize when the teacher allows this. If a student can’t abide by these rules, I simply move his or her comfy chair somewhere else, and students also move their own seating when there is an issue.
Sitting on the ball actually strengthens your core. Research shows improved physical health, core strength, and lumbar strengthening as well from the use of the ball and also standing more during the day.
There are so many different colorful options when choosing what is right for your classroom.
These different seats allow students to bounce, fidget, kneel lean, pivot /twist / rotate, roll, stand, and sit to suit their needs. Break out of the rows - traditional seating methods and desks can make students possessive over their personal space and territorial over supplies and bins. Try giving this a shot and see the sharing begin.