There are a multitude of reasons to utilize flexible seating in today’s classroom. Flexible seating provides students choice, movement, comfort, opportunity to communicate more effectively, and can potentially increase focus. “Flexible classrooms give students a choice in what kind of learning space works best for them, and help them to work collaboratively, communicate, and engage in critical thinking” (edutopia.org, 2015). Giving students options in their seating arrangements promotes cooperation, conversation, and deeper analysis of ideas. This reiterates the major student learning outcomes here at Northview high school: collaborate, communicate, can critically think. The bottom line is flexible seating makes students comfortable. When students are comfortable, they are more likely to be composed, attentive, and productive. Flexible seating also promotes movement. “The ideal classroom is one where there are minimal distractions to learning, focused attention on classroom discussions and positive learning about critical subject material. With this in mind, it is important to understand what causes misbehavior and what can be done to limit it” (Minchen, 2007). One might think that this means to limit movement in order to increase focus, however, when children are not allowed to move, they can become increasingly distracted or disruptive. “Flexible seating allows students to bounce, lean, twist, kick, fidget, wobble, roll, stand, kneel, and sit to suit their needs.” (Venngage, n.d.). Movement can actually increase focus and limit disruptiveness. By letting students move, they could possibly increase focus rather than hamper it. As mentioned previously, flexible seating can provide for comfortability. This comfortability can allow students to better communicate more effectively. Students who feel comfortable may more likely be willing to share ideas, thoughts, and opinions. “Traditional desks can make students territorial or possessive over their space and supplies. Flexible seating encourages children to share space and supplies” (Venngage, n.d.). This fosters a support for strong community as well as a strong foundation of communication. Students who possess strong communication skills can add deeper analytical context to classroom discussion and develop the necessary skills to be successful in the world today. Flexible seating could also increase focus. “Many flexible seating options stimulate students’ sense of touch. This type of stimulation can help children focus and process information. Sensory input is especially helpful for students with ADHD” (Venngage, n.d.). Students with sensory input issues may have a difficult time learning in a traditional classroom setting. “Often students with attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) find it difficult to focus and are unable to remain on task” (Louden, Jr., 2013). Flexible seating can help these students increase focus and help them stay on task as opposed to their traditional classroom setting counterparts. After spending much time discussing the effectiveness of flexible seating with colleagues, it was evident that flexible seating is the optimal approach for meeting the variety of my student’s needs in order to maximize their success. Flexible seating is a must have for my classroom!
Person. (2015, August 4). Flexible Seating Elevates Student Engagement. Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/practice/flexible-classrooms-providing-learning-environment-kids-need
Minchen. (2007). The Effects of Classroom Seating on Students’ Performance in a High School Science Setting. Retrieved from https://digitalcommons.brockport.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1425&context=ehd_theses
6 Benefits of Flexible Seating. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://infograph.venngage.com/p/226127/6-benefits-of-flexible-seating
Louden, Jr. (2013). TEACHING THE STRUGGLING ADD/ADHD STUDENT:
THE CONTRAST BETWEEN BEST PRACTICES IDENTIFIED BY RESEARCHERS TO BE SUCCESSFUL AND WHAT PRACTICES TEACHERS IMPLEMENT WITH STUDENTS IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOL CLASSROOM. Retrieved from https://jewlscholar.mtsu.edu/bitstream/handle/mtsu/3564/Louden_mtsu_0170E_10131.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y