So last year I tried the new "hype" of flexible seating, actually I'd call it more "Flexible Seating with Options". It's not quite flexible seating where I've gotten rid of all the desks and tables. I haven't totally gotten rid of desks for the children because research shows that many children thrive from having their own "personal space", so to totally get rid of that option for children could in my opinion, be counterproductive. However, all children learn in different ways and in different environments, therefore, I truly believe in my "Flexible Seating with Options".
Here's the scoop:
Each child is assigned their own desk- they get to choose their own desk on the first day of school, maybe they like the front, maybe the back...I obviously don't know them yet and we're all a little uncomfortable on the first day, so I do whatever I can to make them more comfortable and I've noticed by giving them freedom before school even starts shows them I respect and value their wants and needs. With that being said, they have the option of being at their desk as much or as little as they please.
During whole group lessons, I teach on the floor with the children surrounding me. I have blankets, pillows, yoga mats, butterfly chairs, and beanbag chairs for them to sit on or with(if they want to). I never force anything upon them, but instead give them a lot of freedom and choices.
During independent work time, children have the option at working at their assigned desk areas, on the couch, on the floor with clipboards, on yoga balls, in beanbag chairs, with a yoga mat, on a blanket, or on one of the many fun rugs I have placed around the room. Even with all of the seating options, many children will still find it most comfortable to work at their desks, therefore I am totally against getting rid of desks altogether.
I have enough clipboards and seating options to accommodate all students in the classroom, just in case all students would like the option to work away from their desks and on the floor.
At the beginning of the year we establish firm procedures and routines for flexible seating (I will go over those in a later post). Please feel free to ask any questions!!
<here's a photo from my room last year, you can see my couch, butterfly chair, rug, pillows, and beanbag chair. These are only a few of the options I offer for flexible seating!