This week I tried flexible seating with my year 8’s. They just finished their inquiry on global interactions and sustainability in China and have started their summative project on the sustainability of modern day life in the country.
I decided that I would give flexible seating a go. The idea behind it is similar to that you might find in a Primary classroom whereby different areas of the room are for different activities.
For my classroom the flexible seating divided the room into several areas:
Recap and research – tables set up with resources we’ve used throughout the topic as well as other suitable resources such as textbooks and news articles. Resources had to remain here.
Collaboration corner – an area where students could collaborate their ideas and discuss their projects.
Progress check – an area for students to have their work assessed by me or to ask questions in relation to their work
Individual workers – an area for students to work by themselves with potential for support from their peer if need be
Got this! – The ‘Got this!’ tables were for those students that were just getting on with their projects. They knew where they were going and could just work.
Students could move around the room and pull up a chair to where they needed to be. Students made the decision as to where they would start and where they needed to go. Throughout the lesson students were moving around, for instance some started at the Progress check table, they wanted reassurance that they were going along the right lines, once confident they moved some went to the Got This! table whilst another went to the Recap and Research area.
It truly felt like a MYP classroom, students reflecting on their learning before and during the work process, moving around to meet their needs, self-led and student-centered.
When I asked a few students at the end of the 1st lesson like this, they said how they liked it as it meant they were thinking about their learning and could move to what they needed to do. Thumbs up I think.