Flexible seating, also known as classroom redesign, is an innovative concept that transforms traditional classrooms by completely reorganizing them. No more desks and chairs placed in rows. With flexible seating, students learn in a much more dynamic setting!
Some comfy armchairs, workspaces available in different heights, cushions, carpets and balls are only some of the options to choose from to make the ideal flexible seating arrangement for a classroom. With the teacher’s guidance, students can move from one spot to another every period, every day or every week.
The concept of flexible seating isn’t complicated but the question on many educators’ minds remains:
Why should I organize the school classroom this way?
Here are a few arguments that should be enough to convince you to integrate flexible seating in your classroom!
Flexible seating teaches children to be responsible
In conventional classrooms, children are usually assigned a workstation. Aside from a few strategic changes made by the teacher from time to time, a student usually has to wait until the end of a month if they want to change desks. In some cases, the student has to make do with the place they’ve been assigned until the end of the year.
With flexible seating, it’s the child who decides where they would like to learn. That spot could be close to the teacher, a bit further away, in a group with a few friends or in the back. Especially at a young age, integrating day-to-day decision-making fosters a sense of responsibility and autonomy in children.
Of course, one student cannot hog a workstation! At the teacher’s discretion, students in the class have to choose a new spot in the classroom. That means new decisions have to be made and there is another opportunity for learning!
A flexible learning environment means a more responsive mind
For some teachers and researchers, flexible seating is one of the most effective ways to combat the various attention problems that more and more young people are experiencing.
Giving students the option of listening to the teacher while standing, reclining or sitting and changing their spots in the classroom, plays an important role in stimulating concentration and interest in young minds.
This is a win-win argument for all students because flexible seating requires a more active body, which keeps the brain in an awakened state and ready to absorb information. Time to make the sedentary seated position a thing of the past!
An inclusive classroom and a positive atmosphere
Removing fixed workspaces and rows of desks also improves the group dynamic.
Presently, schools have some workstations that facilitate interaction like those in the front and middle of the class, whereas the students seated in back are far from both the teacher and the board. With flexible seating, your classroom will be more lively and inclusive and no student will feel isolated. Everyone will have the chance to have a spot at the heart of the discussion and everyone will feel included.
Flexible seating is accessible!
For the last few years, flexible seating has really been taking off! Integrated throughout many parts of the United States and increasingly popular on our side of the border, this ingenious trend has been shown to have significant results wherever it was implemented.
A few beanbags, sturdy floor chairs and adjustable tables are affordable investments that are sure to please your students!
This year, try something different!