Unit 2: What does flexible seating look like? How can it be achieved?


ETAP 623 Spring 2020 (Zhang) Sydney Wilk Mini-Course


Unit 2 Learning Outcomes

  • Students will research what flexible seating looks like within different classroom types individually
  • Students will complete assignments on how different grade levels and subjects may use flexible seating as a group

What is Flexible Seating Really Look Like?

Now that we have learned what may be within a flexible seating classroom, it's important to understand how this classroom can be set up. With so many different seating options, how can we make a classroom look organized but also efficient? We as educators want to keep our students interested and having fun, but also ensure that the classroom is a productive space for all learning styles and behaviors.

It's important to note that a flexible seating layout within a 1st grade classroom may look very different than what it would look like within a 5th grade classroom. Why is this? As some of you may know depending on your experience, students of all ages learn in different ways. Flexible seating may work for your class one year but not necessarily for the next group of students the following year. It's important that we adjust our classroom layout to our students to learn how they learn the best and how we can achieve this without distractions.

Within this unit as well you will hear the opinion of students and how they feel about flexible seating. The video below will explore what students like about flexible and what they dislike as well. It's interesting to see what forms of seating arrangements students prefer and why. Again, student feedback is incredibly important. It's important that we make students feel like they're being heard in the classroom. This way, they are motivated to participate as well as are able to make suggestions to better our lesson plans for the future.

How Can Flexible Seating Be Achieved?

Please watch this video to see how to achieve a flexible seating classroom on a budget or for FREE! I believe a common misconception with flexible seating is that teachers believe it costs a lot of money. By analyzing what you have currently in your classroom, you can see how many pieces can be remodeled or used for other purposes without having to spend extra money from your own pocket.


After watching this video, please think of ways you can incorporate flexible seating without spending money. Are there pieces in your classroom you could use now that need some updating? Have any family or friends offered to donate furniture that's no longer being used? Flexible seating pieces are all around us each day and we don't even realize it. So many people in the community are willing to donate to a teacher's classroom if asked.

Many school districts may not offer a budget for flexible seating. Classrooms are given a set of traditional table and chairs that are used for many years. I don't want any of you to feel discouraged when trying to set up a flexible seating classroom if you choose to do so. Please watch this video as well to see other ways to get started with flexible seating and how some students feel about this type of a classroom setting. How do you all feel about seating contracts with students and how this teacher organizes her classroom? Please write your thoughts within the thought log for this unit.


Activity 2: Share your thoughts on flexible seating

Similar to last unit, I would like each of you to document your thoughts and ideas about this unit within the thoughts log. I have created a new log specifically for unit 2 that is separate from unit 1. I enjoyed reading each of your responses last week and I think you each bring up great points and ideas. Did this week answer any of your pending questions? If so, please add this to your post. The link to this weeks thoughts log is here.


Allen, C. (2018). Flexible seating: Effects of student seating type choice in the classroom (Order No. 10812813). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (2061668236). Retrieved from https://search-proquest-com.libproxy.albany.edu/docview/2061668236?accountid=14166

Kennedy, M. (2017). Seat yourself: Providing students a variety of seating choices in a classroom helps enhance learning opportunities. American School & University, 89(8), 26-28.