I educate beautiful minds in a non-title one school. Our school’s Early Warning System indicates that 49.5% of our student population is considered at risk. I teach an inclusion third grade class.
My classroom is composed of a vast range of exceptionalities ranging from gifted to those diagnosed with ADHD, as well as students with reading and/or math deficits and English language learners.
These children are expected to spend prolonged periods of time in hard seats working collaboratively, thinking critically while growing socially and emotionally.
According to Summit Medical Group the “average normal attention span is 3 to 5 minutes per year”. Today’s expectations are daunting for the “average normal” student. For my students with ADHD, Autism, and/or social/emotional needs the expectations can be beyond overwhelming. One of the interventions mentioned by the medical group and many other experts is to provide an outlet for excess energy and stretch the child’s attention span. Third graders are required to build stamina, focusing their attention on science, social studies and reading lengthy articles and chapter books as well as pass a high stakes state assessment. That is a lot of pressure on students and the teachers that care about them.
I am asking you to help me assist my class of varying personalities and abilities become focused and successful learners with flexible seating.
Flexible seating will relieve the discomfort of hard chairs and provide an outlet for some of that excess energy. This is only one part of what is required to build stamina, but for many it is a key element.
I can’t begin to describe how heart breaking it is to watch the children squirm in hard seats, physically uncomfortable and straining to focus when their chemistry and other challenges fight against the need to focus and learn. It is a physical, emotional and psychological struggle impeding their academic growth.
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