Thursday, July 27, 2017

How to Start Flexible Seating

Flexible Seating is a phrase that has been buzzing around the education world for quite some time now.  I LOVE seeing so many teachers getting their toes wet with this.  It has been a game-changer in my classroom over the past two years and I want to help you get started!  Here is my advice for starting flexible seating off at the beginning of the year!

Flexible seating has made a big impact on my kindergarten classroom environment over the past two years.  Check out these tips and ideas for getting started with flexible seating in your classroom!
  • Make a plan - flexible seating does not mean you have to get rid of all of your traditional seating  - it just means that students have options of where they sit.  What do you want flexible seating to look like in your classroom?  It looks different from classroom to classroom, start with what might work in your room.
  • Get rid of the idea of a seating chart - true flexible seating does not have a seating chart, no more assigned seats *only do this if you are going 100% flexible seating at all times*
  • Look at what you already have - do you have good tables and desks?  If so, figure out if you can lower some (by taking off legs) or if you can raise some (extending legs or with bed risers).  Do you have a counter or shelf that could be used as a standing desk?  Do you already have clipboards or whiteboards?  Start with what you have!
  • Ask for donations - you will be amazed at how generous people are!  You may get old bean bag chairs, couches, pillows, carpet squares, and more.  You can even start on Donors Choose and make a project there.  Don't try to buy it all yourself, trust me!
  • Get rid of some seating and add in your new seating. You can go all out or start with just one type of seating.  I introduced Wobble Chairs in my classroom and that was it at first.  The kids could work at that special table during the day when they were doing independent or center work.  This was a great way for me to see how flexible seating could work in my classroom and a great way for me to see how the kids would do with seating options that were not so traditional.
  • Introduce the seating to your students.  Model how you use that option.  Model how you don't use the option.  Have a student model the incorrect way and the correct way.  Allow that option to be available to students.  Put this in your lesson plans for the first week of school.  Teach it to your students!
  • Make sure the rules are clear (whatever rules you decide).  The two rules that I highly encourage are "Teachers have the right to move you at any time"  and "Pick a spot that works best for you".
  • Have fun!  Teaching is supposed to be fun - enjoy it, embrace it, and love it!  
Wondering what seating will be best for you?  Check out 18+ Flexible Seating Ideas for Your Classroom!

Let me know if you have any questions.

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