Designing Flexible Seating with Students
April 2, 2019
By: Tom Deris
Nine years ago, I starting thinking about changing the layout of my classroom—the traditional classroom structure that had gone largely unchanged since I was a child. I’m now in my eighth year exploring flexible seating with my second and third grade students.
I started by asking students to help me come up with design ideas and to brainstorm ways to transform our classroom with the furniture we had at the time. I knew that if that step went well, I could add more furniture in time.
Each year I add one new type of seating. I started with ball chairs, and then added tables with wheels and wobble stools. In recent years, I’ve added office chairs and scoop rockers. I’ve won several grants over the last eight years to collect my nontraditional seating options, which now include: 14 tables with wheels, eight wobble stools, six lap desks, six scoop rockers, four ball chairs, four office chairs, and four standing station spots. I still have 10 regular chairs.