This year my co teacher and I were lucky enough to implement flexible seating in our 2nd grade NEST classroom which consists of 14 students. A NEST classroom is similar to an ICT setting in that we serve both general and special education students with autism spectrum disorder.
A flexible seating classroom is where traditional desks and chairs are replaced with various seating arrangements such as yoga balls, wobbly stools, crate seats, wobbly cushions, etc.
Each day the students are given the choice to choose which seat they want to sit in to produce their best work.
When researching flexible seating, we have learned that it not only empowers student choice but it also increases student engagement and improves student participation in the classroom.
The materials that we are requesting, yoga ball chairs, lap trays, and clipboards will give our students an opportunity to make flexible seating more effective in our classroom. These various items will not only give our students the chance to collaborate but to engage in learning while also having the chance to seek sensory input at the same time. By meeting each of our students' individual needs, we can impact how they learn, how they interact, and the entire classroom experience as a whole.
As one teacher said, “There is no better way to show your support for a student-centered classroom, than creating a classroom from a child’s point of view.” In her opinion, comfortable students are engaged students.
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