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Must Haves for Classrooms with Flexible Seating
posted by: Melissa | April 13, 2017, 06:06 PM   

What’s the perfect seating arrangement for the classroom? It’s a topic long debated. Over the years, teachers have favored students sitting in pairs, rows of individual desks, and then small groups. Recently though, more and more teachers are subscribing to the thought that there is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to classroom arrangements. Instead, these teachers subscribe to what’s being called ‘flexible seating.’

Flexible seating is the belief that seating arrangements should be able to be rearranged quickly and easily to suit the class’s purpose, along with the belief that students doing independent work should be given a variety of seating arrangements they can choose from. Flexible seating classrooms might feature desks on wheels that can be moved into and out of groups as the need arises, couches, and isolated study carrels.

Interested in using flexible seating next school year? Think about incorporating the following:

Flexible stools: Flexible stools provide the dual purpose of giving active students a place to sit that lets them wiggle, and at the same time being light and portable, allowing them to be moved and rearranged easily. The top selling brands include Kore Wobble, Hokki, and Learniture, but shop around for the product that matches your needs.

Soft seating: Just like some students need to wiggle all day (yes, even in high school!), some students need some place soft and cushy to really focus. Think about incorporating couches, bean bags, or sling chairs.

Some place private: Some students are just easily distracted by activity around them. Provide them with a quiet space where they’re able to ignore what’s going on around them. This can be as simple as a cardboard study carrel that they can stick on a desk in the corner. Also, consider allowing headphones or other ways that students can block out noises.

A place to meet as a whole class: Sometimes, you’re going to need to talk to the whole class at once. Before you start purchasing furniture, think about how that will look in your classroom.

Places to meet as a small group: Part of the idea behind flexible seating is allowing personalized learning. Students also need to be able to meet as a small group. Whether these are swivel or wheeled desks that can be pulled together or tables that students can move to for group time, having this place designated is a must!

Student Self-Evaluations: Despite the growing popularity of flexible classrooms, it’s very possible that your students will never have been given the choice in how or where they learn before. Part of this process is providing students the tools that they need to evaluate their own choices and helping them make the right choices for them.

How do you incorporate flexibility in your classroom?

Share below!

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