Flexible Seating: Do THIS, Not THAT


Looking for some tips for flexible seating? I sure was when I started implementing it a few years ago. I couldn't find any quick lists, so after using it for three years, I thought I'd tell you my top tips! Also, if you want my free Flexible Seating Ebook, click here to grab it!

First: DO Try it! If you want to know why, check out some of my other blog posts about Flexible Seating, at the end of the post!

Don't put seats out without modeling and going over the expectations. Post them with visuals. This might mean you need to put out one type of seat at a time, or if you are doing them all at the beginning of the year, introduce just a few each day. If you end up having a student who can't follow the guidelines, and you have to tell a student they aren't allowed to use a certain seat for a day or tow, do it!
(Heidi Songs, Make my own, link to Alyssa Hacker)

Don't expect it to work for everyone and don't expect it to solve all problems. A few students will do best with traditional chairs, a desk, or both. Keep a few in your room in case, or try a half and half mix. Students with limited core strength, for example, will have trouble sitting on stability ball chairs and IKEA stools/wobble stools (though the balls and wobble stools, if used for a few minutes a day by students, will help strength the core). Students with trouble focusing may need a separate seating area, like their own desk. Make sure you read all IEPs and 504s thoroughly so you know your students' needs when it comes to seating. Flexible seating will be beneficial to so many students, though!

  
Listen, let's get real, students fall off EVERY type of chair. I have had students fall of traditional chairs, fall off IKEA stools, wobble stools, and fall backwards off scoop rockers. The only things    kids have never "fallen off" were cushions of the floor and camp chairs, though I am sure someone      could fall off one!

This is how I started! I first got 4 wobble stools from the Scholastic teacher store using my points. The students loved them and after that year, i decide to go full flexible seating. Start slow if you think that's best for you,, maybe introduce one or two types first before going full flexible seating -especially if it's the middle of the school year! If you want to go full force right away, and you know that works for you, go for it! Just again, make sure you follow my first tip, and model and go over expectations for every seat before students use it!

Do stay flexible based on the needs of your specific students and situation. For example, when something doesn't work you may need to take it away. Last year, I did have to remove stability balls from the classroom for a few reasons. Also, you can add more of a seat type that works well for your students, or if the excitement is wearing off for one type of seat, try something news and switch things up. Keep in mind, you need to stay flexible based on your specific students' needs. Don't go into it assuming something won't work or that something will work!

A BONUS TIP
Expect questions, comments, and positive feedback from parents! I have an upcoming post with tips on how to talk to parents about Flexible Seating! It will be posted on August 4, 2019 .

Here are some other Flexible Seating posts that may help you, especially if you're getting starting, or evaluating what you have!




Adorable Flexible Seating clip art is from Educlips!

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