So, one thing that I found tricky last year, when I piloted small-scale flexible seating in my classroom was accountability. Students would flip-flop seats; they would switch when students were out of the room for interventions or even the bathroom. When tardy students came in, they didn't know which seats were truly open, and which were temporarily vacated. It was tricky!!
Then I would have students who (for a short period of time) would lose the opportunity to choose their seat due to lack of responsibility. I wanted to place that particular student in an assigned seat, but it was difficult to do that without doing that in front of other students, which often embarrassed that student. I wanted a discreet way to place that student in an assigned seat.
I racked my brain ... how could I fix this problem??!! I read a TON of blog posts and articles about flexible seating... Then I stumbled upon an old blog post by Literacy Loves Company. In her post on Flexible Seating, she discusses her journey towards flexible seating, some of the specific seating options she uses, AS WELL AS how her students clearly choose their seat.
This would fix my problem with seating accountability!! I decided to alter Literacy Loves Company's idea to fit my classroom!
Basically... there is a table sign on each table that is open for students to choose. This is simply a printed sign that is in a clear, plastic picture frame (I got these 5x7 frames at Walmart for 97 cents a piece!!). Each table is named - I decided to use shapes for my first graders; hopefully this will help solidify shape names and attributes for my kiddos.
Also on the table sign are six colored squares. These six squares correspond with the six available seats at that table. Students will have a clothespin with their name on it; this will be kept in their personal book bin, when not in use. In the morning, students will get their clothespin and clip it onto the table sign of the table that they would like to sit at. If I am selecting a seat for a student, I would simply let them know that I put their clothespin at a table.
SO! What do you think? Would this idea work for you and your classroom? Do you have a different idea to keep students accountable and responsible for their seat choices? What are your thoughts on flexible seating?! Thanks for reading!! :)