Room Arrangement

2018 Classroom Update

Happy 2018!

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?

2 thoughts on “2018 Classroom Update

  1. Hi Kelly,
    First of all, I love your room! I am a special educator and have seen how effective a comfortable learning space can be. I will never go back! Just one question- how old are your kiddos? By your pictures, I would assume 4th or 5th grade? How have they done with sharing spaces… for example, are there scuffles over “who was there first”, etc? If you have any recommendations on these sorts of challenges, I’m all ears!
    Thanks,
    Lianne

    Like

    1. Lianne,
      Please accept my apologies for not responding sooner! I have had personal health issues since January and have just now been cleared (July!).
      Let me answer your questions and be of any help I possibly can.
      Yes, my classroom is for 5th graders. The photos you see are from my second year as flexible seating. In my building, teachers in grades 1,2,3, and 4 have also adapted a similar seating format in their rooms, but not quite to the extent I have!
      All agree this type of environment is worthwhile and so much easier to teach. They also all say that students who can’t handle the “flexibility” have assigned seats. That is the same in my room: some need their own designated space and some, away from their best buddies!
      Regarding your question about “scuffles”, YES I do have those in every class. TO help remedy this, I have used an adaptation of one gal’s suggestion on Pinterest, using clothespins.
      -Each student has a clothespin with their name on it. I have the cheap white 99 cent plastic frames from IKEA, one at each seating arrangement. Each sign has colored dots designating how many students can sit at that area. At the end of every day I let one group at a time decide where they want to place their clothespin for tomorrow’s seating. Each day every student tries out a new seating place. Once there, they have that spot for the entire day. We rotate through each spot until all students have had the opportunity to sit in every place. THEN they can start deciding where they want to sit. that works best for them. This may take 5-10 days.
      I do have assigned spots for some students or require them to sit in certain arrangements, based on the activity: this is a given with the students so they know they may have to move. They get used to this. With the furniture being movable, this also helps with seating. Tables, stools, can move at any time and we usually move furniture alot! They enjoy this change as well!
      If I ever have students who just can’t decide who sits at “that spot” then I don’t allow either one and they find a different spot.
      Still teacher rules, if you know what I mean.
      There are times when I need to sit as well! I will ask a student if I can sit in their chair and they are always accommodating for me!
      Let me know if this helps.
      I would absolutely LOVE to see your room. You can send photos to my school email:
      kalmer@lps.k12.co.us
      If you have further questions, please feel free to email them to my work email as well!
      Sincerely,
      Kelly

      Like

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