Flexible Seating in the classroom – Part 1

Flexible Seating from Setup to Management Part 1 Header Image

Flexible Seating in the classroom – Assisting Student Success Part 1

Flexible seating and assisting students success in the classroom is something that I wanted to do, but it was something that I kept going back and forth on. Did I want to get rid of the safety net of my simple chairs and tables that my students knew how to use? Should I replace that with a whole new idea that, lets face it, could end up with my students running around not knowing what to do as if they were chickens with their heads cut off?

Well, I bit the bullet. I decided to start flexible seating.

Is flexible seating an easy thing to start? Nope. It wasn’t. But it totally could have been if I knew what to expect and set it up properly to begin with.  Just like with everything else, my students really needed a lot of modelling and needed to start very slow.

description of what flexible seating is

Flexible seating is a classroom seating arrangement that allows students or the teacher to choose a place in your classroom that will help them be successful in competing their classroom work or given tasks and activities.

Here is a picture of my classroom very early on in my flexible seating adventure…

flexible seating in my classroom
As you can see, I had hokki stools, yoga balls, and rocking chairs, a standing table (way at the back though you can’t really tell how tall it is in this picture. I had chairs and floor space for mats and I took the legs off of one of my tables and added tennis balls which created a floor table for my students. Rugs from ikea are fun and my students can sit on them at the floor table. The clipboard rack from reallygoodstuff.com {which I LOVE} is amazing and essential for me and my students organized and neat!
Flexible seating options

Oh, the choices. There are so many choices in flexible seating that I certainly won’t be able to cover them all, but I hope that I can at least give you a good jumping off point.

When it comes to choosing your flexible seating options, the first thing that you need to consider is the space in your classroom. You could purchase the best of the best flexible seating that all the other teachers have, but realistically you may not have space for all of those choices.

Here are some of the things that you can purchase to use as flexible seating options and accessories in your classroom:

Seating Options

-Yoga Ball Chairs
– Yoga Mats
– Placemats
– Hokki Stools
– Rocking Chairs
– Stools
– Small Carpets
– Scoop Seats
– Crate Seats
– Pillows
– Bean Bags
– Laundry Baskets
– Exercise Disks

Here is a list of accessories that may be helpful in your flexible seating

– Lap Tables to use on the floor
– Clipboards for floor use
– Community supplies or pencil cases
– Work bins (since you may not have desk space to store your student work)
– Work cubby – Instead of individual work bins.


These are just some of the choices that you can use for flexible seating in your classroom!  Stay tuned for Flexible seating along with some cautionary tales for you to keep in mind. We will talk about how to keep track of student work when you don’t have desks, how to keep control in a flexible environment as well as tips for teachers toying with the idea of flexible seating!
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