Hi, my name is Thelma, I am going to teach reading, writing and social studies this year in third grade. I was teaching math and science last year in second grade.

I have read the books and love the idea of implementing Daily 5 and CAFE with my students next year.

I would love to have open seating in my classroom, but I am not so sure I can have it because of the state test the kids take in third grade. I know it is very formal test.

Have anybody had state test in an open seating classroom? Any thoughts, or ideas will be greatly appreciated.





Barbara Pitts

Thelma, hi. Last year I taught 3rd grade math with Math Daily 3 and used open seating. In August my new principal and I stood in my classroom and had a discussion about what that could mean when state testing came around, namely some of my students would be sitting on the floor at tables, lowered desks, lap trays, or lying/sitting on the floor with one or two clipboards, while others would be seated at regular height desks or standing/sitting at standing desks. This principal (as was the one prior) was fine with that as long as everyone had “office walls,” aka privacy shields, etc. Hopefully, your principal will support flexible seating this fully, as well. Either way, it seemed important to me to have her expectations shared and received by me before the year began.
Since I was to have my homeroom for state tests, I asked them each to give me a 3x3" note with name and 1st, 2nd, & 3rd choice for seating. I was delighted that at least this year each student was able to have a first choice spot. And interestingly, two of my three “belly on the floor with clipboards” students are identified gifted/talented. Everyone felt free to make best choices for her/himself.
Have a fun year!!


Barbara, Thank you for sharing your success story about seating for testing. This shows how powerful it is to have teachers and administrators work together and trust each other.
I also love that you included the students in the seating choices for their testing preferences.
Thelma, I hope you can have this kind of success in your situation, as well.
Any other friends have stories to share about this topic?

Thelma Handlin

Thank you so much Barbara for sharing your experience, I will talk to my principal about it.
I also hope she will support this flexible seating. I can’t wait to try this next year. Thanks again, and you too have a great year!

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