Flexible Spaces

traditional classroom

Sometimes I think a traditional classroom is not really meant for children. As individuals, we have so many different and sometimes unique needs, it is impossible for one system to meet them all.  Given that challenge, let’s see what we can do!

Flexible Classroom Environments consider a variety of sensory needs:

  • lighting
  • seating
  • sound
  • work spaces
  • break spaces
  • stimulation

I have been working with Teachers who have been adjusting their classrooms to better meet their students’ needs. These changes support self-regulation, social and emotional learning, academic success and more! (See the research links at the bottom for more about that.)

A Grade One Teacher tackled the challenge with her students. They began an inquiry about “What Makes a Good Learning Space?”

Flexible Learning Spaces

Once the physical space was more flexible, they began to look at the classroom seating. By the time I came to visit, they were using:

  • counters for standing work areas Flexible seating - standing work space
  • cushions and carpet (with a clip board if they needed to write)
  • low tables to use with cushions
  • higher tables to use with chairs, crates (with cushions on them), and stools
  • desks set apart for quiet work
  • wiggle stools (such as the Hokki stool)
  • wiggle seat cushion
  • rocking chairs
  • bean bag chairs (with a clip board if they needed to write)
  • etc.

Want to read more?  Here is an interesting article about a Teacher’s journey re-thinking the classroom environment:  Study Like Starbucks

Edutopia:  Flexible Classrooms: Assembly Required

Here are some research articles if you are really intrigued:

Clever Classrooms

Re-Thinking The Classroom

Journal Of Learning Spaces