Blog on Special Educational Needs - Asian College of Teachers

Beyond Desks: 5 Creative Ways Flexible Seating Boosts Learning and Fun!

21st March 2024

Special needs students have a hard time in their academic journey and find it challenging to focus on the learning process.

But, what if we tell you can improve their engagement with learning and also improve their overall well-being just by changing the way they seat on a traditional chair and desk?

Sounds interesting…. right?

With the help of the concept of flexible seating, you can improve your special needs learning progress and physical well-being as well.

In this blog post, we will be exploring some of the most effective ways to utilize flexible seating concepts to create a positive and engaging learning environment for special needs children which also improves their overall well-being as well.

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So, without any further delay, let’s get started.

What is Flexible Seating?

Flexible seating is comparatively a concept or trend in the educational industry, which allows children to sit and work with whomever and wherever they want to within the classroom.

Students can have the freedom to avoid sitting in traditional chairs and desks where they have to spend most of the day, instead of that they can opt for other sitting options like- bean bags, floor cushions, library, nooks, etc.

Benefits of Flexible Seatings For Special Needs Students

Let’s get to know some of the benefits of flexible seating for special needs students:

  • It increases student’s engagement and focuses on their learning process
  • It improves their posture and overall physical health
  • It gives the freedom to choose a learning environment that is suitable to their learning needs and style.
  • Foster a culture of collaboration among special needs students as they can move and study with any of their classmates.
  • Flexible seating creates a dynamic and comfortable learning environment for both students and teachers.

Learn to help your special learners more effectively:

Innovative Ways To Use Flexible Seating For Special Needs Students

Let’s get to know how you can make the most of the flexible seating concept for creating a positive learning environment where every special need student thrives.

1. Form a Reading Pair or Reading Group

We, humans, tend to thrive better if we are around like-minded people and work with them. It’s the same for special needs students too.

You can instruct students to form a pair or even a group with their peers for reading purposes. This will give them the opportunity to socialize and at the same time read and enjoy books together.

2. Give Opportunity to Work Independently

In most cases, students like to work and read when they are around with their friends. However, some students might get uncomfortable or have a hard time focusing on reading or doing any task when they are surrounded by their peers.

So. it’s also important for those introverted or independent learner to give them their own space of their choice where they can focus on their work properly without any distractions.

3. Let Student’s Find Their Perfect Learning Spot

Has it ever happened in your special teaching career that when you are trying to make lesson plans or any other task you can’t focus properly, but after changing your work environment it helped to refocus?

Similarly, it could also help your special needs students as well. This is where the concept of flexible seating comes in.

You can consider setting up various flexible seating arrangements with a properly structured workspace and then let your students figure out their own comfortable and perfect learning environment, instead of just feeling stuck on traditional desk and chair.

It doesn’t matter if children like to sit on the floor, sit on bean bags, library looms, stand at the counter, or even sit below their desk, if they are comfortable there and able to focus on their task then let them do it and see how it improve their learning process.

4. Create a Quiet Learning Environment

Sometimes giving them the opportunity for independent or introverted learners to work independently is not enough, they might get disturbed by the noises around them.

To help them, you can help them to find out or create a quiet learning environment like-

  • In any corner of the classroom
  • Beside bookshelves
  • Library Nooks, etc.

This will help them to focus on their task properly and without any noise and no one will be there to notice or take away their focus.

5. Let Them Work In School Hallway

Lastly, give the liberty to work on the hallway for those students who need more space and want a place where not much noise. However, you need to make sure that you allow only those students who utilize their time wisely and complete their tasks because you can’t be able to present in the hallway always.

Furthermore, make sure they have all the tools and resources with them to complete their task and also keep an eye on them to ensure whether they are focusing on work or getting distracted.

Use Flexible Seating Concept To Create Positive Learning Environment

Learning doesn’t need to happen in old traditional chairs and desks. The main goal of any task is to get it done with full focus. That’s why you must use the above-mentioned ways to utilize the “Flexible Seating” concept and let your special needs students decide where they feel comfortable to complete their tasks.

Additionally, if you want to learn more interesting concepts like “Flexible Seating” for your special needs students then consider pursuing courses like the International Diploma in Inclusive Teaching and Special Educational Needs, where you will get guidance from top-notch expert trainers who will also help you to become a capable special education educator.

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Written By : Park Jin Ae

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