Hi everyone, its Julia from History from the Middle and I'm going to share with you how I do Flexible Seating in my class--YES, my middle school class! It works!! I'm going to share with you how I have set up my class, how I share it with my students, and some images of what it looks like in my class!
I start with flexible seating on day 1...Which was actually today! I first label each of my seats with a table number and a seat number. I print these out on sticker sheets and place on each desk and then I also print the seat labels on paper to make "seat cards". These are what I actually use to randomly assign seats at the beginning of the year.
So, on day 1, I lined my students up outside my class, briefly explained that our class has flexible seating, and we would discuss what that is over the next few days, but that today they would just be randomly assigned a seat. I started with my floor seats first and asked who wanted to sit there, and then randomly handed out the other cards for my other seats.
I have the following options in my class: Floor seating with stadium seats and an Ikea Coffee Table, 3 low tables with Ikea Stools, 1 lower table with crate seats, multiple desks and chair and then 1 table with Ikea Rolling Chairs. I am planning on upgrading one of my stool tables with the ALL popular Kore Wobble Stools! They are a bit pricey, but I think my students will really enjoy having them as one of our choices! All are part of my flexible seating with the exception of my table with my Ikea Rolling Chairs I'm using as a VIP table this year! Here is an interesting blog post on VIP Tables!
Ikea Coffee Table with Stadium Seating (I store the seats on the shelf under the table)
Low tables with Ikea stools
Low table with crate seats
Regular desks and chairs
Table with Ikea Rolling Chairs (VIP Table)
I also have two areas in the back of my room that I open up for independent activity time. One area is my classroom library with 4 bean bags (that I got for a GREAT deal from Craigslist!), the other is an area with some more crate seats and 2 small Ikea Tables.
Library area with bean bags
Crate seat area with Ikea Side Tables
After day 1 of introducing, I then go into the details of how Flexible Seating will work in our class. Click HERE to see my Power Point on Flexible Seating that I share with my students! On the last page of the presentation, I have hyperlinked for your a Google Forms survey that I created to survey the kids on what seating style they like best! Feel free to copy to your Google Drive and us! Also, if you're looking for some pre made rules and posters, check these out from Buckeye Teacher!
Each day, I switch up the seating cards before they come in so they have the opportunity to sit in a different seat. Once I feel they are comfortable with the seats AND knowledgeable of my rules and expectations with the seats, I then allow them to freely choose. I initially have them choose a Home Seat which will then be written on a seating chart. They know that when there is a sub, they will sit in that Home Seat so the sub is able to follow with a seating charts.
When I first entered the "unchartered waters" of Flexible Seating, I was worried about it not working and not being able to manage it. I can tell you through reading many other blog posts and just seeing what worked in my own class with my students, I've seen great success! In fact, it is has now spread to several other classrooms at my school!
I'd love to hear from other teachers that have either tried ir or are thinking about trying it...Please share below!