Classroom with new furniture

Riverview Room 318 features flexible seating.

Flexible seating changes Riverview classroom

Posted September 17, 2018

Room 318 at Riverview Middle School doesn’t look like a typical classroom. The desks are not arranged in neat rows. Nor are they clustered into smaller pods of four or five. Actually, there are no desks at all.

“I believe this will help our students flourish,” said sixth-grade teacher Pam Holzhaeuser, whose classroom now features flexible seating.

Instead of traditional desks, there are many different types of seating:

  • Two circular tables each with four comfortable chairs around them
  • A lower circular table with four low hassock-style cushions around it
  • Three higher rectangular tables, each with three tall stools
  • Six futuristic-looking stools with three trapezoid-shaped tables, which can be arranged in various configurations
  • Two bean bag chairs

Mrs. Holzhaeuser received $4,497 to purchase “Flexible Seating for the 21st Century Learner,” the largest grant awarded by the Plymouth Education Foundation in 2018.

Flexible seating has many benefits, Mrs. Holzhaeuser said. “Kids turn to each other for help more and the teacher less,” she said. “It teaches kids to search out answers talking to peers and looking things up independently, too.”

Additional benefits, confirmed by a Mayo Clinic study, is that a “classroom without desks” keeps students moving and also makes teacher-student interaction easy. “Kids crave movement,” Mrs. Holzhaeuser said. “What’s more, they need movement for proper development.”

Learn more:

• Visit the Plymouth Education Foundation Grants webpage.


Classroom with clusters of desks

Mrs. Holzhaeuser’s classroom last year had traditional desks arranged in pods.