Getting Started with Flexible Seating (Free Rule Chart!)

I decided to try out flexible seating in my second-grade classroom, and I am super excited! In this post, I will tell you how I have gotten started with it so far and give you a free download of the Flexible Seating Rule Chart that I made for myself. (This blog was originally posted in August 2016.)

To start off with, let me explain that although last year I taught a first/second grade combination class (also known as a split grade class,) this year I am teaching a straight second grade! I was originally placed in third grade, so I am happy to be doing at least a partial repeat of what I did last year. What a relief! My kids are sweeties, and I am so pleased! I only found out that I was switched from third to second ONE WEEK before school started, but I wanted to jump for joy!

These are SitSpots for my kids to sit on. They are numbered, so each child knows where to sit.

Since the children don’t have desks, they put their things in the cubbies.

If the students have individual desks, I usually have them keep their backpack on the back of the chair. Older grades at our school have hooks along the side of the building outside where kids place their backpacks. This helps to create less clutter and chaos inside the classroom! Since I’m in a portable classroom, we have these cubbies inside along the wall instead of outside.

Now, back to flexible seating.

I decided to really jump into this and JUST DO IT, as they say in the Nike ads! The biggest deal maker was getting approval from my school admin to store all of my individual student desks. From there, I decided to use long tables that were available and use the different seating options in the room.  I’m comfortable doing this, because the individual desks are all being stored in the empty classroom next door.  I can get them all back tomorrow if I want them, so the risk is minimal.  When I found that out, I was more willing to give it a go!

To get started, I made this rule chart that I would like to share with you. My husband tiled it so that you could print it out nice and large, too!  I hope it is useful! Download it FREE, here!

Here are the seating options I purchased.

And yes, I used my own money.  Yes, it was expensive, but I knew it was an investment and some of these items would last a while!  However, I saved the receipts and I am going to return some of them now that I know what my kids prefer and don’t seem to like so much. For example, I bought six laundry baskets for them to lay in and read, but many of them found the baskets uncomfortable, so I’ll probably return a few of them.  Be aware that the baskets probably won’t last!  One of them has already cracked on top, and I purchased the best ones I could find at Walmart.

1. Laundry baskets with pillows

2. Arm chair pillows from Walmart

3. Bath mats to lay on.  (I got them from Ikea, and they are so cozy!)

4. A nice soft rug from Walmart

5. Stability disks from Walmart

6. Lap Desk from Hobby Lobby

So far, I am still getting used to this new system of classroom management.  I LOVE having the extra space that getting rid of the desks opened up!  BUT… when I give directed lessons that really NEED a table, I am still trying to figure out how to manage everything.  The first day, I had everyone sit on the tables, and some of the kids wound up with their backs to me!  So I had them turn the kidney tables around, and that helped.  I made a rule that nobody could sit with their back to the teacher.

Then one of the tables was situated in such a way that the kids really couldn’t see the screen I was projecting on.  I moved those kids to the floor with the lapdesks, but then I had complaining from the rest of the kids that wanted that, too!  So the next day, I just pulled that table into the center of the room for that lesson, and then had the kids help me push it back again later.

The advantages are wonderful, though!  The kids are LOVING their independent reading time!  They cuddle up with those books and I’m hardly having anyone complain and tell me that they “are done,” etc.  The reading stamina that they are developing is wonderful!

As I figure it all out, I’ll post more.  You can check out my blog for the pros and cons for flexible seating here! As for right now… baby steps!  Are you doing flexible seating?  How do you manage it in your classroom?  Do you have desks?

-Heidi 🙂


Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to Internet Videos, and follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest!  Check out our main website at, and find us on Teachers Pay Teachers right here.