Flexible Seating: Building Active Bodies and Active Minds
My students need flexible seating options, such as active learning stools, stack stools and saucer chairs to help them learn to sit actively, improve concentration and engagement, and support learning in their 21st-Century flexible seating classroom.
My multi-rotational classroom is home to 75 amazing children from multicultural backgrounds. My classroom is a multi-leveled, multi-tiered learning environment which services three rotations of scholars for mathematics. My students are active, inquisitive, innovative, creative and engaged ten-year-olds who arrive at school daily ready to take on the day’s challenges.
My students are excited to learn and engage with varying content as I work to purposefully accommodate all learning styles into classroom instruction.
Upon entering our school, there is a feeling of warmth, engagement and learning. The physical school environment is decorated to make sure all students see themselves as well represented on the walls and in window displays. The hallways are draped in student work with student art adorning the walls. The sounds of students learning and laughing in classrooms can be heard in the hallways. Even as our students face many challenges, we work hard to provide them with a safe and supportive learning community.
For the past few years, I have been focused on making my classroom a choice-directed environment. As adults, we have become accustomed to making our own choices. We choose to sit where we’re most comfortable and do what will make us most productive. Shouldn’t young scholars be presented with the same opportunities? Research supports that scholars are far more productive when they are working in collaborative groups.
Flexible seating fosters community-building through a purposefully developed emphasis on communication and collaboration.
I started to implement flexible seating in my classroom two years ago. What a significant difference it has made! I noticed that my young scholars were more equipped to remain engaged and work collaboratively with their peers. As the new school year approaches, my desire is to continue offering flexible seating options in my classroom. Specifically, last year, we moved toward a departmentalized model and with larger class sizes, it became all the more apparent that I needed additional seating choices for my scholars. This year, I will be teaching one core subject to all scholars again.
The seating choices I have selected are active learning stools, stack stools and saucer chairs. Active learning stools are ergonomically designed stools that have a convex base, allowing students to sit and be active simultaneously. The stackable stools will also allow scholars to benefit both physically and emotionally as they transform deskbound sitting into active sitting. These stools are ideal for child development as physical activity increases health, emotional well-being and intellectual maturity. In addition, the saucer chairs will allow scholars another option to learn in comfortable yet productive spaces. In advance, I thank you so much for assisting my young scholars to thrive as they elect different seating options.
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