Take Inventory Before Embracing Flexible Seating

Before you embrace Flexible Seating, you may want to reflect on what you’re already doing to offer seating choice in your classroom.  If you’re implementing Daily 5 or another management system during your Literacy Block, you very well could be on the way to joining the @DesklessTribe without even knowing it!  I write about this in an earlier post.

Take inventory of what you already have available:

  • Clip boards
  • Dry erase boards
  • Rugs/carpet areas/pillows
  • Baskets/Containers/Shelving
  • Caddies for community supplies


Students can work at a location other than their desk or table when they use clip boards and/or dry erase boards.  Many teachers that I work with are already doing this for partner work, small-group work, and/or whole-class instruction.

The biggest differences I notice this year are the following:  We continue to use dry erase boards during math instruction; however, students are using them at their chosen spots.  Instead of tasks that involve whole-class use of clip boards, students typically use them when they pick a place to work that isn’t at a table or desk.  Examples include sitting on the carpet, on the bench, on the “Star Student” bean bag chair, or at a stool.

To the right is one of our favorite seating choices: The ‘Big Joe’.  Since there’s only one and almost everyone wants to sit here, we’ve implemented a Star Student seating schedule.  Each of my 50 students is assigned one date in each of the 4 quarters:  On that date, they are the Star Student and get to sit in the ‘Big Joe’!  There’s something ‘magical’ about this seat – It is super comfy and students know they have to work hard to stay focused on their day 🙂

Read what students have to say about Flexible Seating in our classroom here. Find out what to do with all of the “stuff” here.  I’ll be writing future posts about the next steps for implementing free-choice seating, so subscribe to this blog to receive notifications of updates!

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