Upon walking into the Grade 1 classroom, you will notice that things don't look like a traditional classroom. I, as the classroom teacher, have chosen to implement "flexible" (or alternative) seating rather than traditional desks. As you glance around my room, you may see students standing, sitting on wobble stools, a stability ball, chairs, a bench, or even on the floor with a clipboard.
Research has shown that through the use of flexible seating:
● Student attention spans increase, allowing for more achievement,
● Active learning is promoted,
● A sense of community and other important social skills are built and developed
● Students are encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning,
● Students are motivated to come to school, and
● Both teachers and students love the seating options.
Each day, even each work period (and if needed throughout the work period), students choose and work in a seating location that best suits them. The typical classroom supplies that have been traditionally stored in desks are now gathered and distributed as community supplies - supplies that we all share and take care of. Folders and workbooks are stored in bins on shelves around the room, at easy access for when they are needed.
Grade 1 is not the only classroom that is implementing a form of flexible seating. Grades 1/2, 7, and 8 also are taking on various aspects of this structure in order to build a community of learners, rather than an individual - developing those basic skills that are required for students as they leave our building and head onto the amazing things that God has planned for them.
I am very excited about the use of flexible seating within our classrooms. This is my second year within this seating "arrangement" and I have seen tremendous growth in students as they begin to develop an idea of how they best learn, and what they need in order to learn.