This past year we’ve found out that teachers all around the country love using Otto Storage Stools in their classrooms as part of a “Fexible Seating” arrangement. We’ve started collaborating with a number of teacher bloggers to get a better understanding of teachers’ needs and how we can service them best.
One blogger, Jen from www.sparklinginsecondgrade.com was kind enough to share her blogpost on Flexible Seating with us and gave us permission to add it to our blog. If you are interested in introducing Flexible Seating in your classroom, this blogpost is a great starting point. She is also reviewing Otto Storage Stools in her blogpost which she has been given by us for free for an honest product review. This is what she has to say:
“Flexible Seating” is a hot topic these days. I wanted to round up some of my favorites I use and have seen, as well as discuss a little bit about what flexible seating means to me and my classroom.
I recently watched a Facebook Live video from Amy Lemons at Step into Second Grade that was on ways to increase student engagement. She had thoughts on flexible seating that really struck a cord with me. Amy was explaining that flexible seating isn’t new, but now the term has been coined and it’s popular. Allowing students to have movement is one important piece of student engagement, especially in the younger grades. She also explained that in the upper grades, students have to learn to sit in their desks for long periods of time for testing. So do not feel bad if you want your students at desks for part of your lesson or day. At some point in life, we all need to learn to sit still and be patient. I’m not advocating for all day desk sitting, but it’s all important life skills for students.
So, guess what? With flexible seating, you CAN keep your desks and USE them!
Let me be upfront with you. I use flexible seating when I can, I am not a full-fledged flexible seater. I do not let me students pick their own desks when we are in whole group lessons. They do not have bouncy balls at their desks to sit on, they have chairs. I am a firm believer that students need structure and giving them a place of their own to sit, when necessary, is a part of that structure. My classroom is like any other. My student desks are still there. For me, there are times when I need students to be in their desks or on the carpet all together for whole group learning.
It is when we break up for small groups during math, ELA, and Daily 5, that I put our flexible seating into play (which is a large portion of our day).
I recently did a Facebook Live video around my classroom showing some of the flexible seating options I have. Here’s the video:
Flexible Seating Options
Posted by Sparkling in Second on Thursday, 1 September 2016
Here are some of my favorite flexible seating options:
Otto Storage Stools
One of the newest additions to my flexible seating options are these Otto Storage Stools. Not only do they work perfectly with options for flexible seating, but they also STORE other items! I have yet to put anything in them, but I’m thinking of filling them with other flexible seating options like pillows or mats. They are pretty easy to assemble, just check out my Instagram for a time-lapse of how I put them together (each one takes about 2-5 minutes to put together)
These are incredible. I need more. I love clipboards, but these, these are better! The perfect portable desks. We use these bean bag type ones (affiliate). Students come a grab one and find a spot on the carpet to work.
There are also the table type ones (affiliate). I need to grab some of these ASAP. These ones are FOLDABLE! How convenient for storage!
I love SitSpots (affiliate)! I wrote a blog post a while back about 6 ways to use SitSpots in the classroom. Flexible seating was not one of them, but now it is! I know in 1st grade, students don’t always make the best choices on where they sit. They have no spacial awareness. SitSpots are perfect for showing your students where they can sit around your classroom (at least a few feet from their besties). One caveat is that you can only use these if you have carpet in your classroom.
Not student desk chairs, but fun kid chairs (these are from Target)! I got some from Target during the spring that are just perfect little loungers for our room. They are seriously a favorite and everyone always wants to sit in them. Of course you also can grab bean bag chairs, wobble chairs, or camping chairs (I like that these can fold up and save space)! Whatever you fancy!
Are you looking for more ways to keep your little learners form fidgeting all day? Take a look at this blog post that offers more options for your fidgety learners.
Thank you so much Jen for letting us share this great blogpost! Make sure to follow her blog and her great Instagram account.