2. How do kids pick their spots?
Every morning when the kids come in they get to pick their home base spot for the day. After they do their lunch choice and grab their book box they find a seat that will work for them that day. This is their base spot where they keep their supplies. In the beginning, the rockers were definitely a favorite and we had to rotate them through everyone with a system. Now that they are used to them, I implemented a rule that they cannot have a rocker 2 days in a row. That has seemed to work for now.
When they choose their spot, this is their base spot. If they feel like they want to move around for certain activities, that have that option. If they want to stand during our word work, or lay down during our reading time they can make that choice. That’s why it’s called FLEXIBLE SEATING. :o)
I also want to mention that a couple students do have assigned seats. I have 1, sometimes 2 students, who have routinely showed me that they cannot choose a good working spot for them so we talked, came up with the best spot for them and that’s where they stay for awhile.
3. How did you come up with the rules and expectations?
When I first implemented flexible seating, I brainstormed with my principal about how to introduce it to my students. I thought I would want to state the rules right away, but while talking with my principal, we decided that it would be good for them to help come up with the rules and expectations.
So the first couple of days, there were things like snack and independent and partner reading and science, that I just wasn’t sure how it would work, but I left it up to the class to brainstorm ideas. We tried different options on those first couple of days and then came up with what worked best for our class. I really left it up to them to come up with what worked and what our rules and expecations would be.
In the end, we came up with a chart similar to this one from the fabulous Angie Olson at Lucky Little Learners. She has a fabulous post about flexible seating too.
Here’s a picture of my quick chart. Next year, I plan on making it a little nicer. Once they learned the expectations though I took it down. We didn’t have this chart up for long.
4. Do they fight over spots?
If students are fighting over a seat or spot, neither of them gets that seat for the day. Earlier this week, I actually had 2 friends play rock, paper, scissors to see who got a spot and that worked well for them. There are more than enough seats for everyone so this really isn’t usually a problem. It may be different with a different group, but for now, there is very little fighting. It’s first come, first served.
5. Which seating option is most popular?
Like I said above, the rockers are definitely a favorite!
Another favorite is the pillow table. Students definitely have their own favorites and tend to go between 1-2 seat options every couple of days. In the beginning, I made each student have a different spot for a week just so they could try all of the different places. We then talked about why they liked or disliked spots and how it worked for them that day.
I have found that those that are tardy have the last choices of where to sit. It has gotten some of my friends to school earlier just to pick the seat that they want. If they are late, they are stuck with whatever is left wherever it may be, usually the standing table.
Here are a couple of pictures of students hard at work in their spots.
7. How do you manage snack?
Snack is a time where I require everyone to be at a table. With our milk and snacks, I’ve had more messes on the floor or mats, so everyone needs to find a table spot to eat snack.