Flexible seating is one of the more popular ideas circulating in the education realm right now. One of the things that I searched for before I started flexible seating was pictures of actual teachers’ classroom with their seating options. Those images really inspired me to create my classroom space. I hope that these pictures from my classroom will inspire you in the same way.
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I decided to implement flexible seating during the 2016-2017 school year, and I haven’t looked back. It has really changed the learning environment for the better. Prior to starting flexible seating, I made sure that it was a good fit for my classroom.
There are some teachers who aren’t sure if flexible seating is the right fit yet. If that sounds like you, I encourage you to read my free eBook, 7 Revealing Questions to Ask Yourself Before Implementing Flexible Seating. I give you really great questions to honestly ask yourself if you are interested in flexible seating.
Let’s say that you are 100 percent ready to implement flexible seating. You’ve got your plan, procedures, rules, and other great things. You are also one of the flexible seating teachers who wants “the stuff.” In the eBook, I mention that some teachers who are using flexible seating love to have the crate seats, tire seats, and stability balls. Other teachers just get rid of their chairs and nothing else.
I am on the side of wanting “the stuff,” but if you aren’t, it’s okay. My motto for flexible seating is “do what is best for you and your classroom.” I am sharing pictures of my 2017-2018 classroom and all of flexible seating options that my students utilize. I also have suggestions for other options. My goal is to give you some inspiration when you are looking to purchase flexible seating options or if you are setting up a Donor’s Choose project.
By far my student’s favorite places to sit are on these stability balls. Stability balls allow the students to move and it increases their balance and strengthens their core. Physical education integration, anyone? I have 4 green and 4 pink stability balls from Gaiam. These have legs on the bottom so the balls won’t roll away. I’m definitely glad that I chose that option considering how many I have in my classroom. My stability balls are placed 4 to a table in my classroom.
These crate seats are near and dear to my heart. My mom made these before she passed away. I cannot take the credit for making these, but she said that they were easy to make. When she made my crate seats, she purchased the wood from Lowe’s and my dad cut it to the size of Sterlite crates. Of course you don’t want your students to sit directly on the pieces of wood. Trust me, angry parents and butt splinters don’t mix. You’ll have to purchase some type of foam or cushion to wrap your fabric around. The fabric that I used on my crate seats is from Hobby Lobby. There is a great tutorial for creating your own crate seats at Ginger Snaps Tidbits and Treats for Teachers.
Hokki Stools encourage movement and helps students with balance. I chose Hokki Stools over other similar types of chairs because of the great reviews. I have compared my chairs to those of my co-workers and I much prefer the quality of the Hokki Stools. That’s not to say that other options won’t work! I actually would prefer the Kore Wobble Chairs for early elementary because they are all plastic. Hokki Stools are a bit pricey! I was able to get the 4 that are in my classroom through a Donor’s Choose project.
What I Use
Can I admit that I sit in these butterfly chairs from time to time? I purchased my butterfly chairs for 10 bucks at Walmart, but you can literally find these anywhere and they are very inexpensive. My students love sitting in these to read. I don’t allow them to do their work here because I prefer my students to sit at desk during instruction. So this is the spot my student retreat to during Daily 5 stations and math stations.
What I Use
Butterfly Chairs (Much cheaper in Walmart, Target, etc)
Bean bag chairs are another favorite reading spot for my students. As stated before, my students are only allowed to use these options when I’m not teaching whole group. I was so blessed to receive these donated bean bag chairs from my co-workers. One is a Big Joe, and I have no idea what the other two are. As you can see, I REALLY need to buy some filling to bring these donated bean bags back to life. You can find bean bags in so many places online and in stores.
What I Use
Big Joe Bean Bag
My students use these floor pillows next to tables that I had lowered to be closer to the ground so that they can sit or kneel. Guess what! These are actually dog pillows that I purchased from Five Below. They are only 5 dollars a piece. My students this year haven’t been as kind to my pillows, but last year these lasted until about March and then they started to rip. But for $5 dollars each, these were a great find. (Btw, you can find a lot the things mentioned above at Five Below.)
Did you think that I got rid of traditional seating too? Not quite. During my first year of implementing flexible seating, I had a few students who could not handle the various options. I also had students who actually preferred to just sit at a desk and in a traditional seat. For those reasons, I will always keep this option in my classroom. There’s nothing to buy because it’s what is already in your classroom!
Now that you’ve taken a look into my flexible seating classroom, it’s time to set yours up! The great thing about flexible seating is that you can add things throughout the year. Most teachers set up their classrooms with their seating options at the beginning of the school year, but if you’re doing Donor’s Choose or just saving up, you can introduce new seating at any time. Trust me, your students will be excited either way.
Remember, if you are unsure about starting flexible seating, download my free ebook to help you along! It will help you answer some important questions.
What does flexible seating look like in your classroom? Describe it in the comments below or drop a link to your blog so that I can see pictures.
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