Starting the new year in August, we were implementing some massive changes! We were the first grade level piloting BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), we stopped assigning homework, we were gearing up for our IB Reauthorization Visit, and the biggest game changer– my classroom was completely transformed into a room with flexible seating. We went all in, and I was ready and confident on the first day of school. You can read more about my journey toward flexible seating HERE, HERE , and HERE. (Links to all of the seating options and where I purchased them can be found at the end of the post. That’s always a popular question!)
Movement and Flow of the Room: Since kids have NO personal supplies at their desks, the room is completely and totally flexible. That means that they can have their “Home Base” where they are sitting for instruction and independent work, but when it’s time to move around for small groups, partner work, etc. there are multiple, distinct work places ready to go that are completely clean. I LOVE this aspect of it. I usually meet with my small groups on the floor now (where the elephant rug is) while other groups work in other parts of the room.
A HUGE Energy Outlet and HIGHER Engagement: It definitely took some getting used to, having kids bouncing on balls and slowly rotating on the Hokki stools, but now that I’m used to it, it’s amazing the different it makes in student engagement! This is especially true when I’m doing a whole class lesson. Instead of fidgeting, drawing, playing in desks, students are now standing, on balls, etc. and still intently focused. It’s awesome!
Open Space: Since we used what used to be extra tables as some of our seating options, this opened up a TON of space for us! Never before have I had such a HUGE gathering area, and I love, love, love it. All of the students can fit on the elephant rug easily, and ALL 29 of us can make a large circle. This has always been hard to achieve in the past when we’ve had 28 desks, plus a teacher desk, plus two or three “group” tables.
|This was taken on the first or second day of school. It was pretty novel at first, but kids did not prefer this as their daily seating choice!|
|The water bottles are stored behind the sink. The iPads are now on lid racks instead of in a bin.|
I am also in charge of cleaning the stability balls, as our custodial staff just couldn’t take on that extra responsibility in addition to everything else they do.
|This is a great picture of Flexible Seating in Action. They’ve all chosen where they are sitting to work on this partner activity. It’s also a great example of how hard it can be to get kids to put their seating options back because they are spread out all over the place. 🙂|
Blue stools: These are Otto Stools. Love them!