My students are special because many of them are new to the country or they are learning to read, write and speak in two different languages - Spanish and English. This requires them to transfer knowledge from one language to another. My heart is filled with so much joy at the end of the year when they have learned to master both languages. My students are hardworking, inquisitive, loving, compassionate individuals who are very enthusiastic about learning.
My students are faced with many challenges and obstacles that interfere with their learning.
It is my job as a bilingual teacher to find creative and diverse ways to make learning meaningful and fun. The school district is considered to be culturally diverse with a heavy population of students receiving free or reduced price lunches. Although the school is in a high poverty neighborhood, my students deserve to have the skills and resources available to them that other students in other districts have readily available to them. These resources and materials are necessary to make their learning successful so they are ready to thrive and enter a monolingual or ENL classroom.
Why flexible seating?? Students feel empowered by having some degree of choice and control over their environment. Flexible seating allows students to choose where they work. It also allows them to change their location and positions as needed. Many flexible seating options stimulate students’ sense of touch. This type of stimulation can help children focus and process information. Sensory input is especially helpful for students with ADHD, ADD, and ASD.
When my students are given a choice where to learn they are actively engaged in their learning and less disruptive.
In class, many of my students work collaboratively in groups as well as engaged in center activities. They are moving all around the room. They are sitting at different tables in the classroom and/or laying in the rug with clipboards. They are free to sit anywhere and feel comfortable when they are engaged in their learning. Some of my students are fidgety and require alternative seating. The wobbly seat cushions allow my students to move freely around the room and sit comfortably without being confined and yet still learn. The big bouncy ball chairs will allow my active students to find a comfortable seat to bounce and complete their work as well as work collaboratively with others.
I have seen how choice can positively affect my students work during center time. Flexible seating is about more than simply having a variety of different, fun seats in the classroom. It’s about utilizing student voice, creating buy-in, heightening collaborative learning, and prioritizing students’ needs concerning the environment in which they learn.
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