Wardlaw Elementary School teacher Mrs. Kelly is utilizing a new trend in classrooms where there is flexible seating for students in the classroom. This is where students choose where and how they learn best in the classroom.
The idea to implement this style of seating came while Mrs. Kelly was reflecting on her own learning and the idea that she learns better when she doesn’t sit still at a desk all day–social media (Pinterest) assisted with ideas of how to set up the classroom to give students options. Mrs. Kelly also participated in Wardlaw’s book study of The Wild Card by Hope and Wade King, which encourages teachers to make their classrooms both rigorous and truly engaging for kids.
According to principal Juli Robbins, “We’ve all been working on incorporating strategies that make students excited to come to school.”
Mrs. Kelly’s students are excited about flexible seating, respectful of the rules, and really enjoying the privilege. It’s an opportunity for them to problem solve how to share the space and work effectively together. Students are making good choices and getting their tasks done.
The concept of flexible seating is fairly new so there’s not a lot of research, but what has been done is promising.
Edutopia recently reported on a study that shows a significant increase in student achievement, especially in math, when the learning environment is flexible, meaning: comfortable, students have choice, and feel welcome.