How to Implement Flexible Seating in Your Classroom

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Description

Flexible seating allows learners to select from several seating options, including traditional desks, tables, and chairs, or soft seating like couches and beanbags. By introducing flexible seating, instructors liven up the learning environment, making it more student-friendly.

Advantages

  • Can reduce sedentary periods by allowing learners to move around more during a lesson.
  • Allows learners to sit at a table that best suits their learning (computer table, group table, individual table, on a beanbag, etc.)

Disadvantages

  • There may not be enough space in certain areas, which means that learners may not be able to sit where they select.
  • Often learners like to have a spot they can call their own, which gives them a sense of place and belonging.
  • Instructors who are weary of flexible seating may believe that it’s too informal for older age groups. Yet, the casual design approach offers learners an opportunity to sit comfortably while learning.
  • Some educators also have expressed concern that learners may destroy the furniture, misbehave, or not pay attention in the classroom, but in fact, just the opposite has occurred.

Implementation

  1. Think of your seating options as a solo (floor cushions, beanbags, gaming chairs, armchairs, yoga balls, standing desks) or cluster arrangements (bar-height tables, couches, benches).
  2. Select sturdy furnishings versus cute and trendy. Hefty furniture will stand up to older kids.
  3. Maintain a line of sight with learners. They need to be able to see the board and other visuals, and you need to be able to see them.
  4. Flexible seating isn’t just about the furnishings. Flexible seating arrangements require you to think about sound and lighting as well.

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