What is Flexible Seating?

What is Flexible Seating?
flex seating
Your fifth grader may come home talking about something called flexible seating or how they get to travel to new seats... but what is it?

With school we are used to a system where learners are assigned a spot and that is where they do their work for a specified amount of time before switching to a new spot for a specified amount of time. Flexible seating takes the seating chart out of the equation. Instead, learners have the privilege and the responsibility to choose a spot in the room that will be optimal for their own learning. 

We will be starting out with a seating chart and then transitioning slowly into this form of seating, giving learners an opportunity to take full ownership over their seating choices.  

We have a variety of working spots in our classroom including:
Floor Desks -Desks that are lowered as far as they can go so learners can sit or kneel on a yoga mat to do their work.
Standing Desks - Desks that are raised so that students are able to comfortably stand and get their work done.
Stool Seats - Desks with stools instead of chairs. 
Office Chair Desks - Desks with rolling office chairs instead of plastic chairs.
Yoga Ball Seats - Fifth grade size yoga balls that students can sit and wiggle on while they do their work.
Carpet Spots- Students can choose to grab a clipboard and sit or lay on the carpet, or on a suitcase to work.
Rockers - primarily for reading - Floor rockers where students can lean back and read their books.
Suitcases - We have two suitcases in the room that learners enjoy sitting on as they do their work. 

FAQs

Where will learners keep their supplies?
Learners will be using community supplies (pencils, markers, scissors etc.) that are stored in crates near their desks.
All of their notebooks, workbooks, folders and personal supplies will be kept in their book bin which is stored above the coat racks.

Are you worried about learners not being able to focus if they sit near their friends?
Learners are allowed to choose to sit near their friends, however they have the responsibility to show me that they can get their work done. If students are not following flexible seating expectations I will move their spot. If this begins to happen on a consistent basis they will be assigned a spot until the learner shows that they are able to try choosing their own seat again.

How do they know where to sit?
Each desk or table group is named after a continent. Towards the front of our classroom on one of the closet doors we have a "Where are you traveling?" board with magnets. As a part of our dismissal routine, a learner pulls magnets to determine the order in which learners choose their spots for the next day. Since I have two more desk options than I have students, during the day if anyone wants to move, they may move their magnet to an open space. Students are also always allowed to move to the carpet.
 
Where will you teach?
I teach a lot of focus lessons in our meeting space on the rug to get learners' full attention. Small group lessons are taught at the kidney table. When I do teach in the front of the room with the whiteboard learners will stay at their continent spots.

What about iReady and Standardized tests?
We will use the laptop carts for iReady and standardized tests.
For iReady every learner will need to be seated or standing at a table - they will have the choice to switch to a traditional chair.

What about Math?
Since Math is a mixed group learners will be encouraged to choose a new spot daily. If there are arguments over a spot, neither learner involved in the argument will be allowed to sit there. Most math instruction will take place in the front of the room.

My fifth grader is anxious about changing spots all the time.
Please encourage them to come talk to me or shoot me an email. Transitioning this often is a lot to get used to and I will work with your fifth grader to find a solution that works for them.

Other Questions or Concerns?
e-mail me at kdesfosses@londonderry.org