In a world where we are continually pushing our students to choose creativity and think outside of the box, we must be intentional in creating a classroom culture that allows for maximum creativity.  One way teachers are fostering a creative culture is by incorporating flexible seating into their classrooms.  This approach leads to a more relaxed atmosphere and allows for many options, as one can imagine.

I have always had a few different options for seating. However, this school year I have purposefully created 6-8 different seating choices for students. I have a group of traditional chairs at a round table, a table with stools, a table with wobble disc, a table with stability balls, a table with bouncy bands, yoga mats and a couple of recliners. The first day that I introduce the concept, students are initially given a 10-15 minute rotation, at each station. This allows them to decide their favorite seating option. Then I randomly select students and allow them to choose where they would like to sit for one-week rotations. We repeat this process each Friday.

My students are loving the concept and are embracing the responsibility of choosing wisely. They understand that this is their learning choice for the week. If they prove to not act responsibly with their choice, then I reserve the right to reseat them.

When students feel comfortable, they are more open to learning and growing! Consequently, when students are more open to learning and growing, the chance for legitimate understanding, application, and retention of knowledge increases! It is so easy to get caught up in the “what” that we must teach every day, that we sometimes forget that the “how” and “why” are just as important.

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About the Author: Stacey Leatherman is a veteran teacher with over 20 years in the classroom. She has a passion for creating a classroom culture that fosters growth in all aspects of a child’s life. She is not afraid to think outside of the box and implement new ideas in her quest for keeping students engaged in the learning process. This passion and excitement is easily seen when you enter her classroom. She enjoys mentoring new teachers and walking alongside them as they begin their career. Stacey believes that every child deserves to have a cheerleader; it is Stacey’s goal to be the cheerleader for each of her students.

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Stacey Leatherman

Stacey Leatherman

Science Teacher, Greenwood Elementary

Note: Fresh Ideas for Teaching blog contributors have been compensated for sharing personal teaching experiences on our blog. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer or company.

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