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Mrs. Ganow’s Classroom Edit display name

  • Wichita Heights High School
  • Wichita, KS
  • More than half of students from low‑income households

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Teaching special education comes with challenges and barriers as well as rewards. The students I have within my classroom come from a variety of backgrounds and a mix of socioeconomic statuses. The goal for the alternative seating is so that the seating arrangement can be flexible as well as students being able to move around and participate in cooperative learning. The students will benefit through their increase in achievement, engagement and it provides a level of control that students, especially those of low socioeconomic status and children in foster care need so desperately. The level of trauma that some of these students have experienced has caused them to have an increased need for comfort so that the hierarchy of needs is met. Last year, I began to be more flexible with allowing them to sit on the floor or my air conditioning vent, or in my office chair. I had clipboards available and I noticed their engagement increasing and students began to have higher levels of achievement. Research states that giving the students a choice in seating and allowing movement and comfort in the classroom can help to provide community and collaboration along with sensory input in the classroom. The supplies chosen allow for an “at-home” feel as well as providing sensory input for the students. Using a rug for the floor allow for that "at-home" feeling so that a student can feel at home, it also provides sensory input for students who need more sensory input. Beanbags and other chairs also create the "at-home" feel and allows for comfort as well as feeling more "at-home in the classroom. It also is an alternative seating that is easy to move. Adjustable tables to allow for the students to get into groups to allow for collaborative learning.

About my class

Teaching special education comes with challenges and barriers as well as rewards. The students I have within my classroom come from a variety of backgrounds and a mix of socioeconomic statuses. The goal for the alternative seating is so that the seating arrangement can be flexible as well as students being able to move around and participate in cooperative learning. The students will benefit through their increase in achievement, engagement and it provides a level of control that students, especially those of low socioeconomic status and children in foster care need so desperately. The level of trauma that some of these students have experienced has caused them to have an increased need for comfort so that the hierarchy of needs is met. Last year, I began to be more flexible with allowing them to sit on the floor or my air conditioning vent, or in my office chair. I had clipboards available and I noticed their engagement increasing and students began to have higher levels of achievement. Research states that giving the students a choice in seating and allowing movement and comfort in the classroom can help to provide community and collaboration along with sensory input in the classroom. The supplies chosen allow for an “at-home” feel as well as providing sensory input for the students. Using a rug for the floor allow for that "at-home" feeling so that a student can feel at home, it also provides sensory input for students who need more sensory input. Beanbags and other chairs also create the "at-home" feel and allows for comfort as well as feeling more "at-home in the classroom. It also is an alternative seating that is easy to move. Adjustable tables to allow for the students to get into groups to allow for collaborative learning.

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