Flexible Seating Research

6 years ago I had a super tiny classroom and no space so after doing some research I ditched all of the tables and desks in the classroom and we do everything on the floor.  It’s a very Montessori approach to teaching!   When we started no tables/no desks “flexible seating” wasn’t a thing.  No one was doing it and no one was talking about it.  People (including the mister) thought I was CRAZY!   But after seeing our success….well, you know the rest.  Of course, we believe in research based best practices for our class, so flexile seating is supported by research.  Here’s some flexible seating research:
flexible seating research

Flexible Seating Research

This article from Herman Miller on Rethinking Classroom Design talks about classroom design and it’s impact on motivating and engaging students!   We want our students DOING so we need to design our spaces to encourage and motivate our kiddos to DO IT!
The article discusses how comfortable classrooms are good for the mind and body of our students!  This is so important to me!  I want my ‘staches to be comfortable.  Sitting in chairs and desks all day long is not comfortable.  But being able to lay down or sit or stand and do our work is engaging, comfortable and very motivating!  (And apply this to adults:  when we’re comfortable we are happier and more productive, so why not extend that to our students?)
This article from Psychology Today talks about a study by Steelcase Education which showed that classrooms designed to support participative learning increased student engagement compared to traditional row-by-column seating (Scott-Webber, Strickland, and Kapitula)
Here is an article from Edutopia that highlights the impact of flexible seating and student choice!   The article says that 73% of student progress can be traced to flexibility and choice!!!!!!!   Ya’ll, CHOICE AND VOICE ARE HUGE for our students success!
This article from Edtech Magazine talks about the demise of the cold hard school desk!   If we want our students ready for the 21st century, we need classrooms that engage, motivate and inspire our students.  Cold hard desks ain’t doin that!
This article from KQED Mind/Shift features an interview with Erin Klein who inspired me to go deskless!   I love her quote that “the desks get in the way” of our learning and out ability to collaborate!
Also check out Erin’s boards on Brain Friendly Learning and Classroom Design for more research into classroom design!
Here is a great blog post from another classroom teacher on the benefits of ditching the desk!
And this article from my friend Kayla Delzer at Top Dog Teaching is a MUST read for flexible seating:

Immediate Benefits Of Flexible Seating

There are also immediate benefits of Flexible Seating:
burn calories
reduce stress
improve posture
improve core strength

Flexible Seating Research:  Handwriting

One of the things we get asked about the most is handwriting and flexible seating!   In our classroom there are no tables and desks so we lay on our stomach for handwriting!   So here is some research about handwriting:

This article from Science Daily highlights the importance of tummy time for achievement.

Tummy Time and handwriting!  This article from My Special Needs Network talks about tummy time and handwriting!

This article from Kids Unlimited Learning Academy talks about laying on your stomach to strengthen the core and improve handwriting.

More research on handwriting:

Flexible Seating And 21st Century Skills

We all know the importance of 21st century skills (collaboration, communication, critical thinking and creativity).  The great thing about flexible seating is that it allows all four these 21st century skills to develop in the classroom.  So why are these skills important?  Consider this report from GOOGLE on the importance of these 21st century skills!  (And see what current trend in education was at the bottom of the list from GOOGLE…GOOGLE…tech….I was shocked!)

More on Flexible Seating:

To see how flexible seating works in our classroom, check out this post:

Here’s another post about flexible seating:
Click above to read about how to start “no tables and desks!”

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