Flexible Seating & Learning Spaces

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Flexible Seating and Learning Spaces

Flexible learning environments personalize the classroom for students. Aspects of the classroom that shape this type of environment include comfort, choice, and learner ownership of space. The way we sit makes a difference for different engagement activities.

#ConnectedConvos: Flexible Learning Spaces

In the video below, Andi McNair and Fran Siracusa interview classrooms who are using flexible learning spaces, and describe the impact it is having in their classrooms.
#ConnectedConvos on Flexible Learning Spaces
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Carolyn Stephens, 2nd grade teacher, describes what her students do when they enter her flexible learning classroom...


Students will come into the classroom, get their supplies (pencil box and clipboard) then choose their seat. If a pencil box and clipboard are at a seat, it is taken. If ANYONE argues over the seat, both students lose rights to that seat at that time. You HAVE to be consistent with this rule regardless of the situation. If there is arguing, neither one gets the seat.

We usually come to the carpet area for the short subject lesson. After the lesson is over, I choose students that were actively listening and on good behavior to get their things and choose their seat first. This gives the students time so they do not feel like they have to run or rush to a seat before someone else. It is expected that the students will rush to the seat for the first week or so because they are just SO excited to choose a seat. Continue to remind them that everyone will have a chance to sit in each seat eventually.

​Lately, all of my students have been on task at the carpet because they want to be picked first. I have been calling people by "if you do not have white socks on" you may go get your supplies, or "if you are wearing jeans" you may go, etc. Throwing in the NOT's really gets them thinking!!!

I do not expect the students to stay in the same seat all day. Flexible seating is about moving and figuring out what seat is the best for you throughout the day. I have students that like to do math on the floor, but need to read at a table or in a corner with a pillow away from others. It is all about showing the students how to be self aware of where they learn best.

Think about where YOU work best. Do you grade papers at your desk? or in bed with everything spread out? Do you read on the couch? or laying down? It is the same for our students. We have to help them find the special spot that works best for them and their learning.

Most information and ideas came from Angie Olson's blog:


Examples of Flexible Seating for the Classroom

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Flexible Learning Spaces

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