Unit 3: Creating your own flexible seating classroom plan.


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

Unit 3 Learning Outcomes

  • Students will create their own project on flexible seating based on their interests as individuals
  • Students will explore how students can be teachers and teachers can be students
  • Students will develop ways to test if flexible seating works for students in different settings

Creating Your Own Flexible Seating Classroom Activity

For the past 2 units, we have discussed what flexible seating is and how it can be achieved. I have provided you all with examples of flexible seating through both videos and images. Within this unit, I would like to see how you would design a classroom that was going to be turned into a flexible seating classroom.

For this assignment, I would like you to take a white piece of printer paper. On this paper, please draw an example of what your flexible seating arrangement would look like. I ask that you label each detail you draw so I can clearly see what your incorporating. Would you divide the room into sections or have a combination of flexible seating every where? Would there be yoga mats to sit on with yoga balls or traditional desk with spinning chairs? Please use color if possible for this activity. As you have seen within the past few videos, classrooms with flexible seating are often bright. Once you are finished with this map layout, I ask that you write a 1 page rational of why you designed your classroom the way that you did.

Please email your assignment to me at swilk@albany.edu by the end of this unit. I will send back a response when I have received your assignment so that you know I was able to receive it without any issues.

Research on Flexible Seating and Student Ownership

As we study flexible seating, we are learning that this requires students to take ownership. In order to use flexible seating to it's fullest advantage, students must be respecting the classroom as well as showing that this form of seating is benefiting their learning. When we look at how classrooms have changed within the past 70 years, they have gone quite a long ways. We live in a time where students now can be teachers, and teachers can be students.

Please watch this video to see the relationship between student achievement and student academic performance:


After watching that last video, has your opinion on flexible seating changed? Please write down your thoughts to add to your next thoughts log to share with the rest of the class. Next, please take a look at this TEDxTalks that explores students ownership. This video explores how classrooms have changed within 70 years. How teachers can be students and students as teachers:


Moving forward, how can we as educators test to see if flexible seating works? It's important that when you try flexible seating, to ensure your students understand what it is and how it works. That their role is to use flexible seating appropriately and also show they can respect the objects within the classroom. As we discussed earlier, this gives students a chance to take ownership within the classroom. It's important to note that everything is trial and error. By explaining to students how it works and possibly setting up a "contract" like we learned about in the last unit, we as teachers can feel more confident using flexible seating.

Activity 3: 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 3 that is separate from unit 1 and unit 2. 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.