Many teachers enjoy using them as options in a flexible seating classroom because they are conducive to both individual, quiet study as well as more collaborative, discussion-based group work. If your school is unable to help finance your new classroom arrangement, you can ask for donations or view discount options at second hand stores. Find the best apps for building literacy skills.

It's report card time and you face the prospect of writing constructive, insightful, and original comments on a couple dozen report cards or more.

The bean bag chair is a popular choice in flexible seating arrangements because it accommodates this variety. The same can be said about the philosophy behind flexible seating. What is the shortest distance you can walk that will allow you to read the work of every student in the class? Imagine walking among your students. As you can see, the room arrangement to the right looks very different from that on the left.

It also allows space to work while keeping an eye on students. Wobble chairs encourage active sitting and provide light exercise for the legs, back, and core.

One study titled ''Differential Effects of Seating Arrangements on Disruptive Behavior of Fifth Grade Students During Independent Seatwork'' indicated that the occurrence of classroom disruptions happened 2-3 times more frequently when students were allowed to pick their own seats. Struggling Students? What message does this send?

Can Reading Instruction Improve Math Learning in the Primary Grades? Students with their backs to the teacher will naturally be less engaged in the instruction, and more easily distracted.

Idea five(Image credit@hello3rdgrade on Instagram). Be sure to note that, depending on the age group, you will likely have to make some rules surrounding the use of exercise balls (for example,bottoms stay touching the exercise ball, only tiny bounces allowed, and/or two feet on the floor at all times). The primary benefits of flexible seating include its ability to: Every student is different, every class is different, and every teacher is different. But even if youre ready to bring flexible seating into your classroom, visualizing the change can be daunting. Idea 12(Image credit@lindseynagorski on Instagram).

No thanks, I don't need to stay current on what works in education!

Once the importance of mobility and proximity become clear, the next logical step is to make working the crowd as easy as possible. Materials students use should be visibly stored and accessible, There should be no dead space which promotes random or illegitimate activity, Arrange the room so that the teacher can monitor quickly and easily (no blind spots), Use vertical space for display and learning enrichments, Keep active areas distinctly separate from quiet spaces, Keep two active areas distinctly separate to avoid distraction and interference, Have clear and safe traffic paths no matter how your room is arranged. For instance, rules that encourage students to listen when the teacher is talking, to avoid distracting others, to use their indoor voices, etc can help prevent distractions. The U.S. Department of Education specifically recommends some strategies for students with ADHD, including seating the child near the teacher, seating the child near a student role model, and providing low-distraction work areas that are quiet and distraction-free. If you don't have what you want can you request it or bring it in yourself? Even a change to seating equipment as simple as wobble chairs can help you make that a reality. You're "creating the circumstances" where your students can learn, grow, and succeed. Real questions from parents and educators, answered by experts. If you already have proximity without moving, you needn't go any further. Aligned with curricula across the English-speaking world, its used by more than800,000 teachersand30 million students. Watch one-on-one reading support in action with K-3 students, FAQs

When students in the green zone look up to see that you are on the far side of the room, particularly if you are preoccupied, it is goof-off time.

Many students make associations between where they were when they learned something and where they are when they must recall it. When you are working the crowd, two or three steps will switch a student from the green zone to the yellow zone or from the yellow zone to the red zone. Preferred Activity Time (PAT) Is Preferred by Kids and Teachers! While it may seem disorderly at a glance, working on the floor is an ideal solution for students who have difficulty sitting still forprolonged periodsof time. As in the example above, wobble chairs can be used in group settings or arrangements of joined desks. Tools for Teaching Effective Classroom Arrangement, The King of Classroom Management!

It can be challenging to get any student focused on their schoolwork, but students with ADHD have a particularly challenging time staying on-task. Additionally, increasing order and organization in the classroom can help students maintain focus and limit distractions.

The same is true for areas of the classroom that get more traffic than others, such as seats near the teacher's desk, the cubbies, or even the pencil sharpener. Meet your favorite authors and illustrators in our video interviews. Both of these scenarios demonstrate that you don't need expensive equipment to transition your classroom into one that supports flexible seating. Groups can cause students to become distracted and to be distracting to others. The red zone is nearest to you. Reading Rockets is a national multimedia project that offers a wealth of research-based reading strategies, lessons, and activities designed to help young children learn how to read and read better. While a couch is not always suitable for individual activities, it can anchor a specific section of your classroom. All rights reserved. Idea one(Image credit@teaching6 on Instagram).

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, 100 Childrens Authors and Illustrators Everyone Should Know, A New Model for Teaching High-Frequency Words, 7 Great Ways to Encourage Your Child's Writing, All Kinds of Readers: A Guide to Creating Inclusive Literacy Celebrations for Kids with Learning and Attention Issues, Screening, Diagnosing, and Progress Monitoring for Fluency: The Details, Phonemic Activities for the Preschool or Elementary Classroom. Of course not. Where Did Foods Originate? This one takes experience to decide, and you may even change your mind from year to year.

Once you become familiar with a few basic principles, you will be able to rearrange your own classroom in a way that is best for you. The reasons why some kids struggle with reading, Target the Problem! Because it costs you almost eight feet of proximity with every student in the classroom!

You may even require customized adjustments to a normal table.

Your classroom should give off a friendly, welcoming ambiance where students feel they belong.

Questions about reading, writing, dyslexia and more, Author Interviews Idea nineImage credit: @creatingteachinginspiring on Instagram. When we're doing poetry, we turn the desks toward the window and become inspired by nature; when we're doing small group work we move the desks into "flowers" of 4-5 students; for full class instruction, we put desks in "chevron" shape. Proximity and Supervision

Speaking of cubbies, it can be beneficial to use these organizational tools to reduce the school supplies students have access to at any given time. How your classroom is arranged can have a big effect on your ability to effectively manage your class. Don't be afraid to experiment or use graph paper to "play" with different classroom arrangements. Tips on finding great books, reading nonfiction and more. It has been shown that students in these seats will receive more teacher attention, which can result in more monitoring and encouragement. Will you have space to display student work?

Only after you watch a lot of classrooms and note the differences between effective and ineffective teachers does the importance of this strolling become clear. What parents, teachers and child care providers need to know.

I will show you some sample room arrangements. Look around a typical classroom and you will see a whole room full of obstacles.

It builds trust and mutual respect. It shows that redesigning your classroom with seating like bean bag chairs is actually part of a bigger idea: giving students thechoiceto sit where -- and how -- they want. You also might wish to have students work together in small groups as in cooperative learning or committee work.

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But, in light of these considerations, the process of adopting a flexible classroom can be facilitated with the following suggestions. Arrange your classroom in a way that accurately portrays your educational philosophy and ensures that your students can move around and interact the way you'd like. In the example above, they are used as computer chair seats. In terms of minimizing distractions, studies have found that arranging tables into rows is the most effective seating arrangement when it comes to keeping students on task. She even argues that the physical arrangement of a classroom cansignify a broader shift towards a new approach to teaching overall, remarking: Redesigning a classroom or implementing unassigned flexible seating is a shift in both structure and teaching philosophy -- an entire mindset shift. Shivonne Lewis-Young, a Grade 3 and 4 teacher with a large number of high-needs students, makes use of bean bag chairs in her classroom. Do not jump to the conclusion that they are "correct."

There may also be a rule regarding how many square feet per child, etc. We will use the colors of a stoplight -- red, yellow, and green -- to represent those zones. While they come in a variety of shapes and sizes, scoop chairs are usually lightweight (making them easy to drag around or relocate) and offer good back support, serving as excellent options for inducing focused, individual activity. Idea ten(credit@teachlikeyoumeaniton Instagram). Every student learns (and typically, sits) differently, but teachers often find that a simple cushion or mat is a popular choice among students in flexible seating classrooms. Human resources are like natural resources; they're often buried deep. In the example below, they are so popular in one class they have completely replaced the standard seating varieties seen in most classrooms! It is subconscious -- on the edge of awareness.

Other teachers place it in the back of the room. Idea 18(image credit@bravelearns on Instagram).

The objective of room arrangement is proximity. Natural teachers instinctively work the crowd. Find some inspiration inthiscollection of21 of our favorite flexible seating ideas. However, you might also consider that there are two primary ways that students become distracted: through auditory means and through visual means. In addition to all these strategies for setting up the classroom, it's also important to remember that distraction can be prevented through the nature of the class itself. Red means stop. Here's How to Engage Them, What to Do When Students Dominate Classroom Discussions, Tricks for Dealing with Difficult Children in the Classroom, Tips for When Parents Don't Understand Boundaries. Reprinted with permission from Peak Learning Systems, Evergreen, Colorado (. Create or log in to your teacher account on Prodigy-- agame-based learning platform that assesses student progress and performance as they play. Kim Raney, a kindergarten at Wedgeworth Elementary School, uses such chairs as part of her classrooms flexible seating arrangement.

While the benefits of flexible seating are apparent, there are significant considerations, especially for teachers new to the approach.

Fix anything that becomes distracting or inaccessible from a student's chair. In the example below, students read books. top education news, lesson ideas, teaching tips and more! Idea two(Image credit@1stgradeiswienerful on Instagram. These two students are pupils of Kayla Delzer, a 2nd Grade teacher and author whose passionate advocacy of flexible seating and classroom redesign has earned her the title of one of the top 100 innovative teachers worldwide.

In this case, seating the student closer to the back could actually help keep them less distracted.

Doorways leading out to the hallway can be distracting, and so can the view from a window.

The most basic factor that governs the likelihood of students goofing off in your classroom is their physical distance from your body.

What storage do you need? Writing samples from real kids pre-K3, Why Some Kids Struggle Idea four: (Image credit@jillian_trimm on Twitter). However, when you start working the crowd, you will find your interior loop soon enough.

Since their benefits are numerous and their impact on performance can be unmistakable, theres no sense in conceiving of standing desks as useful only to adults or in the context of professional work.

Lines and paragraphs break automatically. Contact us by phone at (877)266-4919, or by mail at 100ViewStreet#202, MountainView, CA94041. You remember. Pinpoint the problem a struggling reader is having and how to help, Reading Interventions Reflect on what you are trying to accomplish and make your space work for you rather than against you. Are there individual student desks or long tables? Delzer, like many teachers who now embrace flexible seating, is keen to note how changing the physical space of a classroom directly maps to an impact on student behavior and learning outcomes. A study titled ''Eye Contact and Grade Distribution'' indicates that students in these front and middle seats are likely to achieve better grades because of these factors. Once you've decided on an arrangement for your classroom, what are some strategies to organize the students themselves?

But once they become accustomed to the new experience of working while standing, theyre likely to prefer a standing desk to a conventional one! A low table sits at a diminished height relative to conventional chairs. Sometimes open bookshelves are important; at other times, you can shove things in drawers.

While standing desks are better known for their increasing popularity in offices and workplaces, their presence is also growing in schools around the world. Idea 13(Image credit@levanhook on Instagram). As Lewis-Young observes: It's very powerful when kids feel like they have choice and a voice.

Watch or listen to our classroom video, author interviews and more. Idea six(Image credit@all.about.the.abcs on Instagram). And herexperience shows that flexible seating isn't just about giving students a comfier place to sit. An Education World e-Interview with Classroom Management Expert Fred Jones.

Idea 17(Image credit@kimberlymorrison_tpt on Instagram). They know that either you work the crowd, or the crowd works you.

They use proximity as an instrument of management. One important issue to note: if you do decide to organize your students into pods in order to enable small group activities, remember to arrange the desks or tables so that all students will be able to see the instructional area. Students can use a low table to kneel, sit cross-legged, or even sit on top of -- for example, during reading activities.

Do you even want a teacher's desk in the room? Idea 14(Image credit: @ms._dubs on Instagram). It's about rethinkingthe classroom environment and providing optionsto students in a way that opens up their possibilities for learning.


This promotes a student-centered atmosphere.

You have to go looking for them.

What activity centers are important to you? It may also depend on your subject and grade level.

When the teacher was standing next to you, you cooled it, but when the teacher was on the far side of the room, you talked to your neighbors. ), and an "information station.".

Our reading resources assist parents, teachers, and other educators in helping struggling readers build fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension skills. In part, how you arrange your room depends on what furniture you have at your disposal.

As the celebrated educational theorist and veteran teacherSirKen Robinson observes. Beyond the yellow zone lies the green zone -- green as in go!

Use to homeschool, to prepare for a test, to earn transferable college credit, to research schools and degrees and to help you achieve your professional aspirations. See for yourself why over 30 million teachers and students use everymonth. As a teacher, youcan't always choose your classroom. It's also important to consider that classroom decorations such as posters or other eye-catching items can be distracting to some students. Idea 21: A Prodigy classroom. This article is condensed from Dr. Jones' award winning book Tools for Teaching. Stools allow students to adopt different -- and, frequently, healthier -- postures than conventional seating arrangements. COPYRIGHT 1996 - 2022 BY EDUCATION WORLD, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Help inspire your students to love learning with Prodigy's online learning platform.

The objective of room arrangement is to create walkways. Another study titled ''Exploration of Classroom Seating Arrangement and Student Behavior in a Second Grade Classroom'' found that while groups may help students develop socially, they can impede student performance.

Help Your Child Who's Struggling with Math, makes use of bean bag chairs in her classroom, collaborative, discussion-based group work, connections between seating, students, and academics, studies show that prolonged periods of sitting can be terrible for our health, greater collaboration, communication, and interaction, A 2009 study in the British Medical Journal, Moving from a conventional classroomarrangement where furniture has already been provided, Fellow teachers may be reluctantto adopt a similar change and, Your district may not be able to support you financiallywith regard to the purchase of new equipment, and the personal.

But you can always choose how you arrange it. Imagine yourself working the crowd during guided practice as you supervise students' work. The biggest impediment to working the crowd is typically the arrangement of the furniture. Bean bag chairs are also effective because theyre appropriate for group activities as well as for activities that require quiet, solitary work. Thanks, Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on October 15, 2010 - 8:56pm. Another important consideration when preventing distraction is to have classroom rules in place that prevent distracting behavior. Idea sevenImage credit:@SummerfordStars on Twitter.

Elementary teachers have different activity centers and types of tables or student desks than secondary teachers. Arrange the furniture to make working the crowd as easy as possible.

They may be seated at large tables, or they may have shoved their desks together. They're not just lying around on the surface. Pinpoint the problem a struggling reader is having and discover ways to help.

As in the example below, they can also be used effectively for individual tasks requiring focus, like reading. We will call this pattern of movement an interior loop. The things to consider may include: Submitted by geraldineDUMADAG (not verified) on June 30, 2014 - 10:54pm, these suggestions are just what Id been looking for. All other trademarks and copyrights are the property of their respective owners. First, get your desk away from its traditional location in the front of the classroom. So letting students sit by their friends might not be the best idea. (Besides, all that stuff is in the lounge). One study, titled Rows versus Tables II: The Effects of Two Classroom Seating Arrangements on Classroom Disruption Rate, On-task Behaviour and Teacher Behaviour in Three Special School Classes (Wheldall and Lam, 1987), found that students stay focused approximately twice as often when seats are arranged individually, as opposed to when they are organized in groups.

Add it to the list of things you'll learn with experience. This page talks about how you deal with the aspect of classroom SPACE, in other words, how you choose to use the space allocated for your teaching area. Idea eightImage credit:@mrs._bowden on Instagram. A simple cushion or mat is one flexible seating option that works because, as she says: when students aren't trying to hold themselves still in their chairs, they can integrate auditory, visual, and tactile systems of the body. Subject matter makes a difference, too. Classroom Management Resources for Teachers, All Teacher Certification Test Prep Courses, ''Exploration of Classroom Seating Arrangement and Student Behavior in a Second Grade Classroom'', ''Differential Effects of Seating Arrangements on Disruptive Behavior of Fifth Grade Students During Independent Seatwork'', Turning Classroom Distractions Into Engagement Tools, 4 Tips For Building an Efficient Grading Process, Classroom Setup Ideas for Minimizing Distractions, Do You Have Students Who Never Seem Interested in Lessons?

Picture three zones of proximity surrounding your body in concentric circles. (Foods of the New World and Old World), 50 "Needs Improvement" Report Card Comments, 50 Needs Improvement Report Card Comments.

Next, bring the students forward so you can write on the board and then turn to talk comfortably to the front row. For example, primary teachers might have all the proximity they need sitting on the carpet reading to students at their feet. Seating charts are typically selected based on how much you want your students to interact. Teacher's desk and computer desk?

The diagram pictured on the left below has four rows running from side to side, with eight students per row. Thus, through mobility, you are constantly disrupting the students' impulse to disrupt. While not particularly well-known outside of the classroom, scoop chairsare popular among elementary teachers. is a flexible, comprehensive online learning platform used by people of all ages to take fun, engaging courses and improve their education. Idea three(Image credit: @topdogteaching on Instagram). Arranging students in a horseshoe or circle will facilitate an environment where group work is the primary focus of the classroom. There are many variables here. Book Finder Are there obstacles that might make working the crowd difficult? Illustrations by Brian Jones, Sign up for our free weekly newsletter and receive.

Carefully analyze space, distance, and movement. 125 Report Card Comments Sit in student desks after arranging your class to get a student's-eye view of the room. K-3 professional development course, Looking at Writing When considering if a student should be placed at the front of the classroom, you might consider if this student is one who is more prone to auditory distractions. Instead, random seating assignments, or a seating assignment that plays to the specific characteristics of that particular classroom, might be more effective. But it could be better to keep these types of visual aids out of the instruction area, for example on the back wall of the classroom. If that's the case, you might find that this student is constantly turning in their seat to see what's going on behind them.

Only when you watch previously well-behaved students in the classroom of a teacher who does not exploit proximity, do you come to appreciate the importance of working the crowd. Researchers continue to study the benefits of flexible seating, but the practices popularity has spawned greater public awareness of -- and interest in -- what it can do for students. Easily distracted students might not be ideal candidates for these seats.

They simply make mobility easy. Yellow signals caution.

"If you dont like to read, you havent found the right book."

The most important feature of room arrangement is not where the furniture goes, but, rather, where the furniture does not go. That choice -- as differentiated instruction research has shown -- can have a deep impact on how your students learn.

And theyre catching on for a reason: numerous studies show that prolonged periods of sitting can be terrible for our health. So, what are some actual, easy ways to deploy flexible seating in your very own space?

Elementary level may have many; secondary classrooms may have a reference area, a "student organization" area (stapler, etc. Kristine Fourman, a teacher in the Bucyrus Elementary Preschool Program, is passionate about the connections between seating, students, and academics. Flexible seating isn'tabout completely tearing up the way you physically arrange your classroom. Our physical setting sends messages about authority, about ownership, and dictates interaction. The most basic technique for managing the behavior of a group is called "working the crowd." Copyright 2022 WETA Public Broadcasting, Visit WETA's other education websites: Start with a Book|Colorn Colorado|AdLit|LD OnLine, Classroom StrategiesResearch-based teaching strategies, Reading Basics

Of course, this is not to say that classroom decorations are bad! In a 1987 article, Jon Saphier and Robert Gower provide these basic space guidelines: The overall message about classroom arrangement seems to be that it should be deliberate and well-thought-out. For any reprint requests, please contact the author or publisher listed. In the example above, students use tablets on the floor. Idea 19 (Image credit:@missmoeteaches on Instagram). It goes without saying that students who are engaged in learning are less likely to be distracted, so fun and interesting classes can play a role in stopping distraction before it starts! Equipped with or without a cushion, low tables represent yet another option for kids who don't sit well at desks all day long. Rows of tables with all students facing forwards are typically best for classrooms where individual work is the norm, while smaller pod arrangements can help students engage in periodic group work. To succeed in adopting flexible seating,sometimesyou have to be just as flexible as the furniture. Students in the red zone cool it. In the hands of some students, these supplies can become distractions from the schoolwork itself.

Blocking doors and windows are usually against codes. When you watch natural teachers, you typically see students working while the teacher strolls among them in a most unremarkable fashion. Outside the red zone is the yellow zone. Idea 20 (Image credit: @kathryn_elizabeth_on Instagram). Idea 16(image credit@thesuperheroteacher on Instagram). An interior loop allows you to work the crowd with the fewest steps.

Let the students develop some ownership of their classroom space; allow time to adjust and thrive between changes in classroom arrangement. Many students respond well to using exercise balls (also known as stability balls, yoga balls, or balance balls) because they offer a range of motion while allowing a student to stay seated.

In the yellow zone, students cool it as long as you are facing in their direction, but, when your back is turned, the light turns green. You have to create the circumstances where they show themselves.

You must have JavaScript enabled to use this form. Why? Of course, neither you nor the students monitor this at a conscious level. The diagram to the right below shows a room arrangement in which students are working in groups of four.

Some teachers bring in a personal refrigerator, a microwave, a coffee service, a snack box, and more. You probably dont associate a couch with academic performance or mental focus, but it is a viable -- if slightly less common -- option for flexible classroom seating.

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