Ferguson K – 8
Classroom seating flexibility works for Ferguson 1st grade
By CHELSEA MILLAN
First Grade Teacher, Ferguson K-8
For the past few years, I have been researching flexible seating benefits and options. Even though I was a little anxious about taking the leap and having my desks removed, I decided to do it this year because I will be looping with this class.
Kids are not the same as they were years ago when desks were the only way to go. Our students can’t sit for extended periods of time, and they shouldn’t have to. Flexible seating gives them the opportunity to move and creates some “buy-in” as they have a choice. It also helps with some classroom management once established.
In my classroom, we have a couch and chair, scoop rockers, bean bag chairs, pillows, carpet squares, standing desks, typical desks, “kid seats” (the blue and red folding floor chairs), and tables that are 18 inches off the ground for sitting or kneeling. Early on, the students seemed to gravitate to the couch and scoop rockers. Now that they have been using them daily, I can see that they each have favorite things and are starting to pick what works best for them.
The kids really like this because they aren’t required to be in one spot all day. They can move around a lot more and decide where they will learn best. Of course, I always reserve the right to move a student if they aren’t picking a spot where they can learn.
I feel as though flexible seating is making a huge difference in terms of student behavior and attention. It was a tad rough at first, logistically speaking, just because I was so used to being able to say “put that paper in your desk.” But now that I have worked out most of the kinks, my students are thriving.