The First Day Of School With Flexible Seating

I have had several requests to do a more in depth “how to” of flexible seating on the first day of school. The above pictures are from the first day of school last year!! No chaos here!! I did write a blog post that talks about the first few days of school but this post will strictly just be about the first day. I think all of us are nervous when it comes to the first day!!! Throw in a less controlled environment like flexible seating and you might just want to head out the door! But don’t be nervous! You can do this!! Starting day1 with flexible seating is just like any other first day of school. You will introduce it slowly and train your students on how it works. So here we go!!
When my students come in the room I direct them to the carpet area. A whole group area is a MUST with flexible seating. I love using SitSpots for my "carpet" area. They are way cheaper than those overpriced rugs and way cuter in my opinon. (Get yours here) I usually have toys here to keep my students busy while I say a few words to the parents. (yes, I let parents in the room.) I tell my students to have their parents help them hang up their backpack on our cart and say a quick goodbye. I help students who do not have an adult in the room. 

On the first day we spend a lot of time on our carpet area. We can read stories, play get to know you games (I teach them how to make a big square around the edges of the SitSpots), or stand up and do some GoNoodle to get the wiggles out. This whole group area is a life saver when it comes to flexible seating. If I feel at anytime that I am loosing control, I can call everyone back to the carpet area and we can regroup. This is the only area in my room where students have an assigned seat. I show them their assigned seat right after the parents leave the room. Kids always amaze me how quckily they can remember their assigned spot. 

Do I do work on the first day??? (I knew you were thinking that!!) And, yes I do!!! We do a few independant activities on the first day. I have tons of seating choices in my room...but I DO NOT USE THEM ALL ON THE FIRST DAY. Or even the first couple of days. It takes time. If you let them use all your seats on day 1, you are going to go crazy. On day1, I introduce them to 3 areas. The carpet, floor table, and standing table. That's it! I also DO NOT LET STUDENTS CHOOSE on the first day. I rotate them through all 3 choices on day1. Fexible seating is all about choice and in week 2 I do let my students choose their spot during work time but they need to experience all spots before knowing whats best for.them. In my classroom I don't have my students pick one spot for the whole day. That is not ture flexible seating. If they need to move, I let them. 

Ok, so back to the first day. When it's time to do our first "work" activity I quickly show them our 3 areas. I explain that at the floor table they can sit on the cushion, or keel on the floor without the cushion. I also explain that only 6 students are allowed here. 

I explain that at our standing tables they can stand or kneel on the floor. In a couple of days I let them bring stools to sit on at these tables and eventually they can have the option of sitting on a yoga ball chair at these tables. I explain that on the carpet they will need a clipboard to hold their work. I tell them that they can sit or lay any way they please on the carpet.                                   
In this picture, you can see what we work up to in the first couple of weeks. Last year by day 6 all my choices were up and going. (well except yoga balls, those came day 15) 

How do I choose who goes where? Do I use some chart with clips or magnents?? Nope!! But you can if you want, there are lots of great ones on Teachers pay Teachers. For the first activity I just place them. Then later on I say raise your hand if you have not been to the floor table.and .then I put new kids at the table. And so on with the other choices. Fancy right!!?? I make sure that the students have been to all 3 choices during day1. For supplies, I use community supples. So if there is a tub at the table, they use those supplies. If they are on the carpet I bring a caddy down to the carpet for them to use. Later that caddy just stays on a shelf, and students just go and grab what they need. 

Here is a quck video of how far my kids had progessed with flexible seating by day 6. They were choosing their own spots starting on day 6!!!                                                                              
That is pretty much it for the first day!! Keep it simple!! For me, simple is using my whole group area a ton and then using my 3 areas (carpet, floor table, and standing tables) for independant work time. Don't stress about all the options in the room. It's easier to start off slow, then have to go backwords becuase too much was introduced too fast. I hope you have wonderful first day with your students and flexible seating!!!!! Let me know if I can help you in any way!!!!



7 comments

  1. We eat breakfast in our rooms. Would you just have a spot choosen for them when they come in on day one? I am trying flexible seating for the first time this year.

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    1. Hi!! I would have an assigned seat for breakfast on the first day. Then you could decide to let them have free seating for breakfast or keep that part of your day assigned seating.
      Beth

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  2. Great write up. Give you all the information needed.

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  3. Hi!!! I'm so glad I found your blog. I am a first year teacher and have plans of incorporating flexible seating. Do you think it would be achievable with a first year teacher? Also I was trying to figure out how to subscribe to your blog, I don't see a link. Thank you ��

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    1. Hi!!! I think a first year teacher can be successful with flexible seating!! Just go slow with introducing it! To subscribe to my blog it's on the right hand side if on a computer. From your phone, scroll to the bottom, click "view web version" then scroll to the bottom again and find where it says "follow by email" . If you need more help you can email me at flexibleinfirst@yahoo.com

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  4. Hi! Where is your post on the first few days of school?

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    1. Hi Aly! So sorry to not respond sooner. My most recent blog post talks about the first day of school only. I hope that helps! Feel free to email me if you have any questions, I'd love to help you more! flexibleinfirst@yahoo.com

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