Flexible classrooms give students a choice in what kind of learning space works best for them, and help them to work collaboratively, communicate, and engage in critical thinking.
“Brain research also confirms that physical activity – moving, stretching, and walking – can actually enhance the learning process. Eric Jensen (2000), in his article Moving with the Brain in Mind, protests against the sedentary classroom style and suggests a better way to spend the long days in our classrooms, not only for students, but for teachers. Teachers need to engage students in a greater variety of postures, including walking, lying down, moving, learning against a wall or desk, perching, or even squatting. The brain learns best and retains most when the organism is actively involved in physical activity.”
Why use Flexible seating?
Research shows that Flexible Seating:
helps students attention spans which results in higher achievement
makes students more actively engaged in the classroom
gives them an active outlet without disrupting their learning
makes them more physically fit
motivates students to want to come to school
helps those with ADHD and Autism, along with other special needs
helps develop a sense of community among the students which improves their social skills
Each student has signed a Flexible Seating contract and understands the expectations of using the flexible seating options and the consequences if these expectations are not being met.
We have a Flexible Seating Contract poster hung in the room to remind students of the expectations.
Students pick new spots every 3 days, but if at any time they feel that their choice of seating or location is not working well for them they may move to an open desk or different spot as long as no one is already sitting there. We use the First Choice Seating chart in order to keep it "fair". Every three days we move the arrow down the chart and the next group gets to be the first to choose where they sit. This works very well in our classroom.
What does our room look like?
Our Seating Options
Bean bag chairs
Standing station (counter)
Desks with Fidget Bands
Tables- high and low
Floor seating- yoga mats, cushions, lap desks
Where do we put our "stuff"?
Certain notebooks are collected and students have jobs to pass them out when we use them (Spanish folder/notebook, Writing Notebook, Performance Coach, Handwriting workbook)
Folders & other notebooks stay in student bin.
Community supplies are used at stations so we don’t have to worry about pencil cases and supplies.