Alternative Seating

Have you considered trying out alternative seating in your class?  What is alternative seating?  It's all about providing your students with options when it comes to where they learn in the classroom.  They provide a chance for students to have a choice and get to move in their seating.  Studies have shown that it has helped with behaviour and academic achievement.

This was something that I have been anxious to try for 2 years now and I finally got a back to working full-time since the beginning of the school year.  I, personally, find it adding these options in the class are easier when you introduce them from the beginning of the school year.  You still can easily add them at any time of the school year though!

Establish Expectations/Rules

You break it, we lose out.  When introducing alternative seating this is important to emphasise.  Today we had a discussion about how much was spent of these and how if they break they won't be replaced.  The students talked about how they would miss out on a different seating choice.

Make a mindful choice when picking a spot.  This is the one expectation you may need to MODEL MODEL MODEL.  We discussed how it is not a chance to sit next to a friend, but a chance to find a better learning spot.  My rule is I will warn "buddy groups" who are off task once, and if I have to warn them again they lose that privilege.

Our priority is our learning.  We also discussed how these options are for us to improve our learning in the classroom.  When we're comfortable we learn better, so our main focus is learning.

Cushions, Stools, and... Clipboards?

Cushions - the easiest of choices you could get!  This cost me $20 each at KMart and they work so well.  My students started just using them for silent reading, but we had some wonderful learners laying down and sharing cushions to work quietly.  Great comfy option!

Stools - Such a BIG hit in my class, and my neighbour classes!  These were 2 for $20 at Target recently and I got 6 to use them in small groups.  However, my students love it so much that I definitely encourage using them throughout the day.  (We even have a class coupon to sit at this table for a whole day.)  These even have small storage for each seat.  **I do have to remind my students to not rock on them as they're made of plastic and may break.

Clipboards - Yes, I consider these alternative seating.  Some students enjoy sitting on the floor but would like a hard surface to write on.  I encourage my students to grab a clipboard and pick a quiet spot around the room.  Most of the time they like laying under empty desks.  

Other Examples

A photo posted by Aly (@justaprimarygirl) on

Are you up for trying out some alternative seating?


  1. Nice post. thanks for very interesting and essential for us to know more about such topics.Keep up the good writing.
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