Lucky Little Learners and this article by Kayla Delzer inspired me to help one of my co-workers implement flexible seating. She used Donor Choose to fund her seating arrangement...as well as her own creativity to find ways to provide numerous options for students.
What we Learned
1) Set expectations, practice expectations, and be consistent with expectations. Every day she reviewed expectations and had I CAN statements for each seating area. These are available in my store.
2) Plan for fairness. She wanted students to be able to choose, but she didn't want to have to create another management board. Since she has students in teams. Each team is assigned a day of the week and they get to pick first. It is easy to manage, and by the end of the week, every student has had a chance to pick their favorite flexible seating. I love using these brag tags by Talking Piñata to motivate students to do their best at their choice location!
3) Consider your room layout. There were 5 student work tables in the classroom. There three additional tables in the classroom for work stations. We looked for options that were easy to work with tables and easy to store. For example, the scoop chairs can easily stack. Exercise cushions can easily be added to chairs. We also made sure we had clipboards to work if they were not at a table. This is what we used for flexible seating options for 20 students. There were more options than students, which worked well because students could spread out.
Area one: Table area with stools from Ikea (4)
Area two: Scoop chairs on the carpet (4)
Area three: Yoga mats in the back of the room (4)
Area four: Table area with exercise balls in crates (4)
Area five: Table area with exercise cusions (4)
Area six: camping chairs in the classroom library (2)
Area seven: lap desks (4)
4) Communicate with parents. Texas Lone Star Teaching has a great freebie with a letter to parents.
Teach2Love also has a letter with a student contract.
Yoga mats are an easy way to add flexible seating. Students use clipboard and can work on the floor. They also are easy to stack and store. I have found yoga mats at Target and Walmart for $7. They can also be cut into smaller sections.
Scoop chairs come in a set of six on Amazon and are less than $10 each.
Ikea has stools that are very reasonably priced (about $4.99). These were used with a table group.
Lapdesks are available at Hobby Lobby during certain seasons for less than $6.
Beach chairs go on clearance at the end of summer.