Flexible Seating: My Journey



There is so much with flexible seating that it would make this a never ending long post, so I am going to break it down in a couple of posts to help you get started on your flexible seating journey. When I see this picture my 💗 is so happy! This is what I always wanted in my classroom but didn't realize it until year 11 of teaching. Part of me always felt wrong about being so controlling about every choice (or lack of choice my students had). I decided that if I was so strongly passionate about doing what is best for students then I needed to allow more freedom in my room. And when I say freedom, I don't mean chaos. This WILL work in any school and any grade! Of course it takes training and time, but it is so worth it!! My slogan is "choice equals engagement", and it is so true! 

One day I came across a wonderful teacher named Greg. (click on his name to see his room!) His classroom spoke to me! I knew that I had finally found an idea of what I wanted my classroom to look like. I am so grateful to Greg because he has always been so kind to me in answering my questions and supporting my journey. 

After a ton of research, thought, and seeing others start their own journey I finally decided I wanted a mix of tables and non table options for my students. 
                                          Here is my classroom in August 2015. 
(Yes, we have ipads for every student. We are so, so lucky!!!)
I have used tables in my classroom for 8 years now. When I taught kindergarten, tables were already in the room and I fell in love with them! No kids hiding in their desk (I can't believe they can get their heads in there!), lost papers, lost pencils, and not to mention food that gets lost in there! YUCK!!! So when I changed schools and grades (back to 1st)  I knew I wanted to keep tables in my room. My new principal was very supportive and got tables right away. So when I started the school year in this picture we did open seating. Students came in each day and picked where they wanted to sit for the day. After we got this down, I knew I was ready to move more towards my dream classroom. 

Here I started to introduce new works spaces in the classroom. No need to do work only at a table if that doesn't work for you!! You can see students working on the floor, standing up, and using seats I had recently got the wobble stools and rocker seats. I was LOVING this but knew it wasn't quite my dream yet. 
In Janurary 2016 I changed my classroom to this!!!

I took out 1 table. I lowered 1 table to be a floor table, I raised up 1 table to be a standing table, and brought in yoga balls (we had already been using the wobble stools). 

I made a few more tweaks to my classroom before starting off the 2016-2017 school year and this is what my room currently looks like!!!

Don't worry, that sweetie is not sleeping!!! He is just laying down to do his work. The clipboard got cut off in the photo. I'm not opposed to naps, I take one every Sunday~ But no time for naps in 1st grade!!!! I added a few more seats like the blue cushion and mini couches. I did take out the standing table. No one wanted to stand, they just wanted to sit under it. So I took it out to make to room more open.

So that's my journey!!!! It's the best thing I have ever done for my students! My next post will be all about how to get this going in your classroom! Be sure to sign up to follow me by email so you won't miss out!!!



5 comments

  1. Hi Beth,
    I was wondering where you teach? I am a NorCal teacher in Mill Valley in first grade. I have a variety of flexible seating, but my goal is to have ALL flexible seating. I will be following your blog closely for ideas! :) Thanks!

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    1. Hi Maureen!!! I am in Stockton. About 2 hours from you I think. I'd love to help you more!!! Email me at flexibleinfirst@yahoo.com at anytime!!! You could even come for a visit to my classroom!!

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    2. I was about to ask where you were becauae I tooootally want to visit your classroom! But I live in Orange County:( Loving all your posts and instagram. This will be my first full year of flexible seating but I'm going to have to work with desks and not tables. First time in 10 years with desks but we work with what we've got!

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    3. I was about to ask where you were becauae I tooootally want to visit your classroom! But I live in Orange County:( Loving all your posts and instagram. This will be my first full year of flexible seating but I'm going to have to work with desks and not tables. First time in 10 years with desks but we work with what we've got!

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    4. Hi Pamela!!! If you are ever up north I'd love to have you!!!! It will totally work with desks! Some teachers use desks like regular. I've also seen teachers turn the desks around so that students can't use them and in essence turns them into a table. I hope you have a great year!!!

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