The PBIS World Book

Alternate Seating In Own Space

Why should I do it:

  • Some students find sitting stifling and constricting which can result in defiance, acting out, and decrease in work productivity
  • Small changes in position and/or view can freshen a student’s resolve, energy level, interest, and motivation
  • Increases focus, attention, and effort
  • Helps “reset” some students
  • Provides breaks and changes in routine
  • Reduces student’s level of boredom

When should I do it:

  • When a student is easily distracted and is frequently losing focus
  • When a student needs a “restart”
  • When a student is losing motivation, effort, or interest in the task at hand
  • When students get fidgety, antsy, or need a momentary break
  • When students have been working or sustaining focus for longer periods
  • When students begin to complain, whine, etc
  • When students are toward the end of the task and need a boost
  • When students are stuck
  • When students are having a mental block
  • When you need to refocus students

How do I do it:

  • Explain to the student that staying in their seat isn’t as important as doing work
  • Provide the student with choices, like standing while working, sitting on feet, on their knees, or similar configurations that will not be too distracting to other students
  • You can place tape around the perimeter of desk and show student that he/she can get up as long as they don’t go outside the boundaries of the tape
  • Allow the student to turn or rotate their desk or move their chair to another side of their desk
  • Have students kneel on the ground and use their seat top as a desk
  • Allow students to lay on the floor near or under their desk and/or seat, utilizing the floor as a desk to work on
  • Allow students to put their feet up on their desk tops while doing their work in their lap
  • Have students lay over the top of their desks and use their seat top as a surface to work on
  • Have students lay over their seat tops and use the floor as a working surface

Resources & Support for technique: