Classroom Environment, Flexible Seating

Crazy Classroom Tips #1 – Flexible Seating Edition

Flexible seating… is it really just a new teaching fad or is it real? It is real I say! There is a lot of research out there that promotes choice in seating and how flexible work spaces allow students to collaborate effectively. Movement is also an important part of any person’s day. Many Fortune 500 companies provide flexible work spaces to their employees. I cannot imagine sitting in one place all day. We shouldn’t expect the same thing of our students. Yes, there are going to be critics and not everyone is going to agree, but after shifting my classroom environment to flexible seating last year, I am excited to continue to provide options for my students this year.

My students also enjoy flexible work spaces. See their posters below!

Transitioning to flexible seating is, also, not as easy as it sounds. You have to have a lot of patience, planning, and organization to be effective. Organized Chaos, let’s call it. There are procedures for everything and everything has a place. Over the next few weeks, I will share my tips on creating a flexible seating space that works for me.

First tip: Seek out furniture options that are inexpensive:

*Ikea frequently has great options that are low cost and inexpensive (stools, low tables, magazine holders for student folders and notebooks, rugs, cushions, etc.)
*Amazon also has some low cost options for flexible seats (lap desks, stability balls, cushions, etc.)
*Target and Walmart have great deals frequently if you check the clearance sections. The blue ottomans that you see in the pictures I purchased a few years ago when the College collection at Target was on sale. I purchased each ottoman for under $10. The folding blue and purple chair you see in pictures were $3 each at Walmart a few weeks ago.
*Dollar Stores have great bins and clip boards for $1 a piece!
*Consider setting up a Donor’s Choose Project. Many of the larger options, including a low couch from Lakeshore Learning, were funded by posting my projects on Donor’s Choose.

Be on the look out for my next Flexible Seating Tip for organizing your space into comfortable work spaces. Check out my work spaces below.

Keep calm and create collaborative choice… in this Crazy Teacher Life!
-A