How to Get Started with Flexible Seating

How do you start flexible seating without spending a fortune? Are you considering starting flexible seating but don't have the budget to buy pillows, scoop rockers etc?  You can start flexible seating in your classroom right away without a lot of money invested.  I am going to share with you how to do that!


How to start with flexible seating without spending a fortune


First off, before you decide to try something like flexible seating, which seems to be one of the newest trends (fads) in education you need to ask yourself 2 questions:

1.  Is this something I would like to try because I think it is best for my students?

2.  Is this something I think I should try because it is the next big thing and I should do it too?  

I did start flexible seating this past year in my classroom and I'm happy to say that I'm really pleased with the outcome.  I do need to preface this by saying I did not go to Walmart and buy scoop rockers or order yoga balls or wobble seats.  I didn't go out and spend money on new furniture for my classroom.  

I was able to start flexible seating in my classroom with what I had (and what you most likely have, too) and a few small purchases.

The first thing I did was determine where my kids were going to work. When I think of flexible seating I'm thinking about different seating possibilities within the classroom and not necessarily different kinds of seating.

As a class, we talked about different places we could work in the classroom aside from our own desks. My students came up with places like working on the carpet, working under their tables, standing up at their tables, laying on the floor, and using the clipboards to work any place in the classroom.

I have no plans to give up our desks/tables - I consider that our "home base" where everything is stored and has a home.  Many of my kids prefer a desk and chair and I have a large room so I can easily accommodate my desks and other options. 

The next step was to create an anchor chart that we could refer to when starting out using different work spaces. This is the most important step in the whole process. You need to establish very concrete expectations about what it looks like to work in different places in the classroom. If your first graders are anything like mine they will pick spots based on where their friends are sitting.
  

Well, let me tell you the anchor chart works! We call our spots our "Smart Spots".  Students know what the expectations are and know that they will lose their smart spot if they are not making good choices. The first thing I noticed about using smart spots was that my students were staying on task a lot longer than before.  I believe this is due to the power of choice.  Let them pick where to work and they will stay engaged longer.  


inexpensive options for flexible seating

These are the things I started out with.  I also had stools from somewhere - the ones you have most likely seen in pics of other classrooms - but they were super wobbly and broke so I will not be getting any more.  I do plan on buying a few yoga mats and cutting them up to use as well.  

Flexible seating to me is more about the options you give your students rather than the furniture you provide.  My students were happiest when they could lay on the carpet or sit on the bench by the coat hooks with a clipboard.  

What are your thoughts on flexible seating?  Love it?  Haven't tried it? I would love to hear from you. Leave me a comment below with your thoughts.

Until next time, 

4 comments

  1. Great ideas! About 5 years ago I took the lower adjustable legs off one of my tables to convert it to a "coffee table" for students to sit on the floor and work at. They love it and there is no cost. I put tennis balls on the bottom of the legs to protect the floor and make it easier to move when needed.

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    1. That is a great idea! Thanks for sharing it and for checking out the blog post. Christina

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  2. This is bang on with how I feel. Thanks for sharing and I will definitely be using that anchor chart!

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    1. Thanks Stephanie! I am glad that you found the post helpful. I am sure you will have great success with the anchor chart in your classroom.

      Thanks for checking out my blog!
      Christina

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