Monday, July 23, 2018

3 Reasons To Try Flexible Seating In Your Classroom

Flexible seating is all the buzz on social media! Are you ready to jump on the bandwagon and try this classroom management technique for yourself?

Well, I'm here to tell you that I started using flexible seating in my classroom a few years ago and don't plan on ever going back to traditional seating.  Here are a few reasons why I love it so much!

#1 The Kids Love It!

Students love having choice. Let's face don't get lots of choices in their lives.  They are pretty much told what to do, when to do it and how to do it by adults in their lives.  So, when they are given the option of a choice in anything...what to eat, bedtime or where to sit in the classroom...they love it.

Students enjoy having the freedom to pick a seat that works for them in the classroom.  They feel more in charge and engaged in their learning.

#2 Some Kids Need To Move!

Have you ever had that student that just seemed to wiggle all day long? Sitting on their knees. Rocking in their chair. Rolling around on the carpet. Have you found yourself telling that student to sit down, stop wiggling, stop moving....over and over....and they just don't stop?

That's because they can't stop.  They need to move.  Their little body just won't stop no matter how hard they try.  Those are the kids that not only love flexible seating - they need it.  These are the students that will do well sitting on a yoga ball or a wobble stool.

They will actually learn better if they are able to bounce or rock gently in their seat. Offering alternative seating choices at centers or their regular seat, gives them that freedom.

#3  Parents love it too!

I have seen a huge decrease in behavior problems in my classroom since implementing flexible seating.  Those wiggly boys that used to get in trouble are more engaged and on task when they are able to move around while learning. I am no longer yelling at kids for rocking in their chair or standing when they should be sitting.

Given the choice, students will sit next to other kids that they get along with and behavior problems decrease.  Some children want to sit alone while others like having a partner.  Parents like the fact that their kids are happier, more engaged and learning!

Making Good Choices

So how do kids know if they have chosen a good seat for themselves? We use a Flexible Seating Reflection Notebook.  At the end of each day, we meet and talk about our seating choices for that day.  The students answer questions like "Was it a good choice for you?", "Were you able to stay on task and do your work?", "Was there anything you didn't like about that seat?". When we are finished with our quick discussion, the students complete a page in their notebook.

Students mark their seating choice for the day, whether it was a good choice or not and write a few sentences telling how they felt about their seat.  They do this for about a week until they have had a chance to try out all the different seating choices in the classroom.  At the end of the week, students are free to choose any seat each day and are ready to begin their flexible seating journey for the year.

Would you like to try the Flexible Seating Reflection Notebook in your classroom? Grab your FREEBIE here!  Want more ideas to help you implement flexible seating in your classroom? Hop over here to read 10 Things You Should Know About Flexible Seating.