The Arc- SJA's School Blog
Mrs. Jenna Shinaberry, SJA Kindergarten teacher shares her thoughts on a new concept called flexible seating to keep her students engaged and learning.
After completing my first year of teaching kindergarten, I found myself looking for ideas and solutions to help solve what seemed like a never-ending battle with the wiggles. With the growing popularity of flexible seating, I began digging deeper into the approach and quickly realized this might be the solution I was looking for! Flexible seating is a classroom approach that allows students to move more freely and provides them with opportunities to complete their work in a variety of seating options with varying heights and positions. It looks different in every classroom, but at its core, flexible seating encourages choice and movement for students.
The implementation of flexible seating in my classroom has been a gradual process. At the beginning of the year I offered students three simple choices, sitting in a traditional chair at a table, standing at a raised table, or sitting on the floor at a lowered table. I immediately began to notice the students showing preference for one type of seat over another. As the year has progressed I added bench seats, lap desks, clipboards while working on the floor, standing at the counter, and several comfortable cushion chairs.
Overall, I have loved the difference I have seen in my classroom since I have begun using flexible seating. It is a well known fact that young children need to move! They are active, curious, and full of energy. Kids thrive on choice and opportunities to make decisions for themselves. Flexible seating provides this all throughout our day. Now, when I look around my room, instead of seeing children tipping back on the legs of their chairs, I see them kneeling and wiggling their feet as they read a story. Instead of asking them to sit down so people behind them can see, I see them choosing to stand at the counter. I have seen an increase in engagement and longer attention spans in my students. No one wants to sit in the same place all day long. Now, with flexible seating, my students have the ability to choose a spot that is comfortable for them, enables them to focus and do their best, and provides them with the movement that is developmentally appropriate for their age.