Managing Seat Selection

With flexible seating we had to come up with a way to select students’ seats. We allow them to have choice during independent work time and sometimes with collaboration work, but we like them to have a home base to go to during direct instruction.  In order to test the students ability to self regulate behavior we include them in the conversation. Where do you learn best? What kind of seating increases your focus? Where are you distracted in the room? We often allow students to choose their seat and they will  stay at that home base for the week.  Some weeks we will select seats for the class- especially if we need to select  groups for a particular learning outcome.  We keep the flexibility with choice, while still reinforcing the routines and  behavior expectations of the class.  Some students like when the teachers pick the seats because it takes  away the pressure of selecting a seat by their friends even with the knowledge that it  might not be optimal for learning.  We want to vary between our selection and student selection so they have regular practice with regulating their learning environment.  Flexible seating has to increase student achievement not distract from it.