Classroom with adjustable seating, These days, it’s incredibly popular in classrooms. But what’s REALLY the big deal? And does it work well in your classroom?
Consider this your beginner guide if you haven’t already gotten on board with this trend. Enjoy your time as we explain what flexible seating is, what it isn’t, and how to use it in your classroom.
What is a Flexible Seating Classroom?
It’s crucial that we first go through what flexible seating in the classroom is. Teachers and other school staff have started to recognize that 21st-century learning may necessitate a change in classroom layout and furnishings as educational techniques have progressed and altered (Kennedy, 2017). In a school context, flexibility refers to both the building’s layout and the types of furniture and seating that provide students with a choice, are adaptable, and are versatile (Kennedy, 2017). With Flexible Seating Classroom, teachers can rearrange the seating arrangements in their classrooms and provide students with a variety of possibilities. A flexible classroom is more than just a space with a desk and traditional desk chairs. Instead, there are other options including bean bags, lawn chairs, stools, and cubes.
Why might educators opt for Flexible Seating Classroom? Teachers have voiced their opinions, claiming that when students have a choice in seat type, engagement among students is higher and the caliber of their work is raised (Kennedy, 2017). More teachers might think about using flexible seating in the classroom, according to Allen (2018, p. 24). Students usually display greater attention and excellent on-task behavior if we let them choose where they want to sit and what they want to use as a seat for the day. We’re able to hold students’ interest for longer periods of time and make sure they feel at ease in the classroom environment so they can learn every day.
Advantages of Flexible Seating Classroom
Children must move about. Flexible Seating Classroom enables individuals to sway, rock, bounce, lean, or stand, which improves blood flow, core strength, and brain oxygenation. This raises metabolism and burns more calories as a result. Additionally, it keeps developing minds sharper and more centered.
It should come as no surprise that physical activity is associated with greater health, better behavior, and superior academic success. Matthew T. Mahar and colleagues observed in their scholarly research that straightforward in-class exercises can improve performance. According to studies, kids who engage in brief physical activity in the classroom also exhibit better task-oriented conduct.
Uncomfortable students are less focused and productive. Consider a student who either skipped breakfast or didn’t have access to it. It will get increasingly difficult for him or her to hear the teacher’s voice as the time till lunch draws near. A similar effect can be produced with an uncomfortable chair.
Students are encouraged to pick their ideal seat in the Flexible Seating Classroom in order to remain calm, attentive, and productive. There is no better way to demonstrate your support for a student-centered classroom than by designing a classroom from a child’s point of view, according to one instructor. She believes that engaged pupils are comfortable students.
Numerous alternatives for flexible seating in classrooms encourage students’ tactile senses. Children can focus and learn better with this kind of stimulation. Students with ADHD, ADD, and ASD benefit greatly from sensory input.
Flexible seating makes learning more enjoyable. Almer asserted that the advantages far exceed any drawbacks and that she will never again use conventional seats.
“At the parent-teacher conferences this year, every parent reported that their child now has an entirely different attitude about school. The kids couldn’t be happier because they love going to school and learning.
She gave some last recommendations for teachers. First and foremost, it’s critical to have a positive outlook and understand that the process will take time if you want to create this change in your learning environment. Additionally, she advises choosing carefully and keeping in mind relevant details like color-coordination in the room.
Almer came to the conclusion that the effort was worthwhile because it made the pupils in the classroom more animated, enthusiastic, and relaxed.
Fantastic Flexible Seating Classroom Ideas
Bags of Beans
Students of all heights and sizes should feel comfortable in your classroom’s physical setting. Because it accommodates this variation, bean bag chairs are a popular option in flexible seating classroom layouts.
Bean bag chairs are particularly useful because they are suitable for both group activities and tasks that call for calm, alone labor.
As any teacher is aware, it can be challenging for kids to sit still, which makes it challenging for students to focus.
Exercise balls, often referred to as stability balls, yoga balls, or balancing balls, are popular with students because they provide a range of motion while enabling the learner to remain seated.
Exercise balls, like bean bag chairs, can easily serve as an alternative kind of seating in a wide variety of situations.
Stool (usually paired with high-top tables) is an excellent alternative in a remodeled classroom and a very straightforward change compared to most Flexible Seating Classroom ideas.
Stools give pupils the option to sit in a position that is distinct from the usual seating arrangement and generally healthier.
Because they are suitable for both more collaborative, discussion-based group work and solitary, silent study, many teachers appreciate employing them as options in a flexible seating classroom.
Additionally helpful are high tables with stools that allow pupils to alternate between standing and sitting during a working or studying session.
Performing Floor Work
Working on the floor is a great option for kids who have trouble staying stationary for lengthy periods of time, despite the fact that it may appear disorganized at first.
Flexible Seating Classrooms enable students to take seats according to their requirements, and as you’ll probably discover, kids are frequently content to work (and work effectively) on the floor.
Pillows or mats
Every student learns (and normally sits) differently, but teachers frequently discover that kids in flexible seating classrooms prefer to sit on a basic cushion or mat.
Although you would not equate a couch with academic success or mental concentration, it is a practical, if somewhat uncommon, alternative for flexible classroom seating.
While a couch may not always be appropriate for solitary activities, it might serve as the focal point of a certain area in your classroom.
A couch will probably not be your first choice if you have a tight budget.
Students who simply cannot sit still would benefit greatly from using wobbling chairs or stools.
Wobble chairs promote active sitting and provide the legs, back, and core a brief workout.
Your classroom should exude a welcoming, inviting atmosphere where students feel included. You can achieve that even with a simple modification to the seating equipment, such wobble chairs.
Sometimes you have to be just as adaptable as the furniture if you want to successfully implement flexible seating in the classroom. But when your classroom gets the hang of it, the benefits could completely change the way students learn. Do you really need to rearrange your environment, or are you just doing it for fun? Obviously not. Your efforts are “creating the circumstances” in which your pupils can develop, learn, and achieve success.