This is year 2 with flexible seating. I am now into 5 successful months and still stand behind this concept completely. Here are some of the basic reasons why:
-Students love it! Yes, they do. They race to come into my room to find their favorite places to learn for the 90 minutes I have them. They know they are not allowed to “save spots”. The last ones to come in aren’t as happy yet they can still be comfortable. I have more than enough spots for students to choose from.
-I love it! Yes, I do. Even on stressful days (we all have those!), I can sit in a comfy chair or couch or stool and work with students.
-It works! Students know they will be moved by me if I deem them not on task. This is a given. Flexible seating is a wonderful opportunity to prove one can sit where one wants and with who one wants. Even the most rowdiest students will try to stay on task OR will ask to sit with their friends again (maybe the next day, I tell them). This is better than offering an extra free recess. Sitting where one wants to is a HUGE incentive to behave and work.
Yes, I do have students who can’t manage working by their best friends. I let these students know they can still pick where (the type of seating) they want to be in for the day. I let this happen, only NOT by or near their friend(s). Students can’t complain when I let them be comfortable. The goal is learning, not socializing.
What are your big goals for flexible seating in your room this year?