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Teachers Implement Flexible Seating in Classrooms

Bismarck - More teachers letting their kids get up and move.

Gone are the days of seating charts and traditional desks.

Lewis and Clark Elementary is one school giving kids more options in the classroom.

This 4th grade classroom isn't like the rest.

Now, taking a seat doesn't always mean sitting at a desk.

"It gives me that cool feeling that I can move around while I'm working," Lily Wiedrich, Lewis and Clark 4th grader says.

Jenny Miller's class has flexible seating 

"I have some different seating options for the kids. I've got wobble stools, their crate seats, I've got some tall stools they're able to stand if they choose," Jenny Miller, Lewis and Clark 4th grade teacher says.

Giving kids options to help them learn.

With flexible seating, kids don't have a seating chart.

"In the morning, they're able to choose where they feel most comfortable and where they feel like they're going to be most successful," Miller says.

But keeping kids focused, and anxiety low, goes past where they sit even nixing fluorescent lights and using natural lighting and lamps to keep kids calm.

"You can just be relaxed and where you work the best," Annika Orthmeyer, Lewis and Clark 4th grader says.

One teacher says giving her kids more options in the classroom is opening up new ways to learn.

Suzan Mills has been a teacher for 14 years and says choosing a more flexible classroom hasn't just improved student behavior.

"They learn better on their own, they are able to work with different people, it works really well for collaborative learning," Suzan Mills, Lewis and Clark 4th grade teacher says.

Mills says letting her students move around mimics the real world's technology focused and fast paced environment.

"Everything in technology is quick paced and you move from one thing to the next, to the next, so they have to be able to move at the same [pace]," Mills says.

For these teachers, giving kids options is the right choice for them.

"Whatever works for them is the best place for them to work," Mills says.

Getting kids and teachers moving around and working together.

Lewis and Clark is one of many local elementary schools that are implementing flexible seating in classrooms. 

Each classroom is different and it is up to the teacher whether or not flexible seating is right for his or her classroom.

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