Flexible grouping is a data-driven and highly effective strategy for creating inclusive classrooms with differentiated instruction. This allows you to group students based on a variety of factors compared to the objectives of the lesson. Sometimes, you may want to pair students who have similar skill levels, while other times, a variety of skill levels may be beneficial. Students also gain the advantage of working with several peers, improving their social-emotional skills.
To make the transition from whole-class learning to group learning easier, a flexible classroom set-up is key. Keep these three ideas in mind when arranging your classroom and considering which furniture items you need.
Being able to go from one classroom setup to the next isn’t usually something you can do during a single period. But when students are able to move their own desks around, it gets much easier to manipulate groupings for the best learning outcomes.
Choosing lightweight furniture in your STEM Makerspace ensures kids will be able to easily move it around themselves, which is especially helpful for younger grades. Adding casters to desks, tables, storage units, and Makerspace carts makes for a fully mobile classroom. And when it’s time to switch groups or return to whole-class learning, moving furniture back to its original spot takes no time at all!
Even the most adventurous of students needs stability and structure in the classroom. While you may want to have the center of the classroom be a more versatile space for different groups and learning styles, the outer walls can maintain structure for cabinets and storage.
Depending on the type of classroom you lead, you may need a cabinet for glasses in science class, a STEM Makerspace storage unit, an art storage cabinet for supplies, or a woodworking tool storage system for all the batteries and accessories your students need. By keeping these items in the same place, your flexible groupings still have a sense of stability for students.
Especially for multi-purpose spaces, having versatile furniture pieces makes any kind of classroom set-up easier to manage, including flexible groupings. Tables and desks in different sizes provide enough space for any STEM Makerspace project. Adjustable and fixed height tables can serve double-duty as desks or workbenches. Pair them with Krueger chairs which come in a variety of styles and sizes to suit any need.
For a heavy-duty classroom, Bally butcher block bench tops add a durable surface to any Makerspace workbench. Choose one with drawers and cabinets for extra storage space in your classroom.
How Do You Make Flexible Groupings Work for You?
If you’re new to flexible groupings, or just looking for some inspiration, we hope these tips have helped spark your imagination. If you’re already using flexible grouping in your classroom, what’s worked well for you? Share your advice in the comments below!
For more personalized ideas, please contact our customer service team at 1-800-831-5904. We’ll be able to discuss your classroom’s needs and find the best furniture and storage solution for you.