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10 Comments

  • Sharon Beck March 19, 2017 @ 7:02 pm Reply

    Where did you get the awesome blue couch?

    • Liz Bowie Liz Bowie March 20, 2017 @ 9:31 am Reply

      Hi, Sharon,
      The couch is Motive Powered Lounge Seating. If you’re looking for additional colors, please contact a sales specialist at 1.800.747.7561. Thanks for your interest!

  • Ashley March 19, 2017 @ 7:34 pm Reply

    Where is the blue couch from?

    • Liz Bowie Liz Bowie March 20, 2017 @ 9:33 am Reply

      Hi, Ashley,
      It’s a popular piece of furniture! The couch is Motive Powered Lounge Seating. If you’re looking for additional colors, please contact a sales specialist at 1.800.747.7561. Thanks for your interest!

  • M. Tyson April 14, 2017 @ 9:17 pm Reply

    I love the idea of flexible seating. I’ve seen multiple posts about flexible seating with younger grades. I completely agree that students are going to be more likely to learn/want to learn if they’re comfortable in the room, both physically, emotionally, and mentally. Personally, I’d like to get rid of all the individual desks in my room and at least get tables. I’m wondering if you have any suggestions for utilizing flexible seating at the secondary level? More importantly, if a student misbehaves to the point where they are no longer allowed to use the seating, and there are no “regular” desks left in your room, what do you do?

    • Liz Bowie Liz Bowie April 18, 2017 @ 12:26 pm Reply

      Thanks for writing – what great questions! I’ve passed them along to our author, Kelly Almer, and here is the advice she had for you:

      M.  Tyson,
      You have a great question! I am glad you like the concept of flexible seating. It does work and has so many advantages.
      To answer your question: “What to do with a student who misbehaves to the point where they are no longer allowed to use the seating, and if there are no regular desks left in the room, what do you do?” I can suggest this option:

      A.) Have the student sit nearest to you, on the floor or a cushion, or get 1 student desk. You can use this as not only for those times when a student needs to be by himself/herself but also for when a student wants a “do not disturb” place in the classroom. I have had times where a student needs to be away from others, for both positive and negative reasons. Always ensuring they are comfortable in the designated spot tends to make the separate spot easier to digest. When this spot is being used by someone else as a quiet space and you need it for another student, simply let the one currently there find another comfortable space while you let the other student sit there for a while. I remind the student I am having him sit there so I can assist him in being the most successful he can be while I focus on the academics nearer to me, so that he can be successful and feel good. It is hard to argue with this logic!

      Secondary flexible seating suggestions:

      A) Start with the three types of seating options: low, middle, and high. Seating options include a tall table that can easily move, along with some regular desks, then floor seating. I suggest you take a poll of your current students: see how many prefer sitting/standing. Have some high seats (stools) for the tall tables. These should be movable as well. Sometimes students push the stools/chairs away from the tables to work. This should always be an option. I would keep a handful of regular desks/chairs (4–6) for those that like their own designated space or prefer the traditional. With only a small amount of desks, this allows for greater movement in the classroom.

      B) Start simple: Move out 3–4 desks for every table option you move in. Make sure you have storage for any materials that were displaced when you moved desks out. I keep my tall tables on the perimeter of my classroom. When we need them in the middle, they are easier to move. Keep floor space between all of the seating options for ease of movement as well. 

      If you have any other questions, please feel free to email me further. I am always happy to assist. 

      Kelly Almer

  • Nancy Everts April 28, 2017 @ 4:18 pm Reply

    Great information!! What do you do about standardized testing when students have to do individualized work?

    • Liz Bowie Liz Bowie May 1, 2017 @ 9:59 am Reply

      Hi, Nancy,
      I contacted Kelly with your question, and here’s what she had to say:

      I have so much extra space now with the desks gone that furniture was easily moved to accommodate students. I have privacy screens, so we used these around each screen.

      Since the students were comfortable, they were able to focus longer! I was pleasantly surprised by the motivation. We didn’t need to take stretch breaks because they were able to stretch out. Therefore, they kept on task longer.

      I had an administrator come in to check out the configuration (students helped me get createive!) to ensure we weren’t violating any rules. I also had my students open their screens, making sure they couldn’t see anyone’s work. This all worked just fine.

      –Kelly

  • Jan McCausland May 8, 2017 @ 7:24 am Reply

    Do your students have departmental? I teach three grade levels and wonder how this could work? I am always changing up the desks and arrangement in my room trying different things, but it still comes back to departmental. I need some of your thoughts.
    Jan McCausland

  • Liz Bowie Liz Bowie May 9, 2017 @ 8:33 am Reply

    Jan – You can connect more with Kelly on her blog at at studylikestarbucks.blogspot.com. In response to your question, Kelly had this to say:

    Jan,

    I am not quite sure what you mean when you refer to “departmental.” Do you mean grade levels departmentalizing…i.e., one teacher instructing the entire grade level in Math, for instance? If that is the case, my grade level and the level before mine (4th and 5th) are departmentalizing next academic year. I will house all of the math materials for my grade (5th) and instruct all students in 5th grade math.
    If this is what you mean, I can assist, but I need to know more specifics. I would be happy to connect with you to help further.

    Kelly

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