I smile every time I walk by or work in Alissa Thompson’s third-grade classroom. When you peek inside of her classroom, it’s evident students get what they need because of the variety of seating options.
As soon as Alissa’s students finish making their plan
at the end of the minilesson, they leave the rug in an orderly fashion and walk to their focus spots. When you look around Alissa’s classroom, you’ll notice kids writing:
- At their desks sitting in a four-legged chair.
- At their desks sitting on exercise balls.
- By a bookshelf while writing on top of it.
- In scoop chairs with the writing on the child’s lap.
- On the floor or carpet with their writing sprawled out alongside them.
- On a park bench (Yes, there is an actual park bench in this classroom!) with the writing beside the child.
Alissa honors every student’s work style because she knows her students are able to focus when they’re working comfortably. What’s best is that every one of her 21 students has their needs met with the flexible seating options she provides.
I asked Alissa to photograph the variety of seating options to share on TWT when I was in her classroom earlier this month. The photos were taken in her classroom right after her students (who I don’t have parental permission to photograph for this blog) headed to lunch. Even though you can’t see children using the space, I think the photographs will provide you with an idea of possibilities you might want to give your students
Yoga balls help kids bounce.
Wobble chairs provide kids with constant movement.
Backless stools provide light sitting support.
A park bench with pillows and a floor scoop chair provide different experiences.
A low table allows students to sit on the floor while having a stable work surface.
Milk crates with chair cushions provide laying or sitting options.
Low bookshelves provide standing students with a stable surface. Chairs and stools are present when little feet get tired.
Click on each image to make it larger and read more about each space in Alissa’s classroom.
Sitting still is a skill we need to be successful in life. However, sitting still isn’t something we should insist upon all of the time in elementary school because kids need to move. Alissa’s classroom serves as an excellent reminder that kids will work well in spots where their needs are met.
GET STARTED WITH FLEXIBLE SEATING:
- For more on flexible seating and workspaces, check out pages 50 – 51 in Kids First from Day One: A Teacher’s Guide to Today’s Classroom by Christine Hertz and Kristine Mraz (Heinemann, 2018).
- Click here to learn more about implementing focus spots in your classroom.