My students need flexible seating options to create a learning environment that meets their educational, physical, mental, and emotional needs. A table that safely allows students to stand and work, for example, increases student engagement!
Hooray! This project is fully funded
Hooray! This project is fully funded
Who doesn't remember the old adage, "You can't judge a book by its cover."? This aptly describes my students. We are a low-performing district in a low-socioeconomic city with a beautiful array of students. Innovation is needed! My room has students with various abilities from low to high. They have various needs educationally, mentally, physically, and emotionally. They have some very important qualities in common, however.
My students are curious, energetic, creative and unique; they want to learn and succeed but they have other needs such as emotional ones that need addressed as well before learning can blossom.
Some students need to stand while working on projects and tests. Others need to doodle when they are trying to think. Still others need to rock back and forth or get in comfortable positions during cooperative learning or reading. Yet others need a spot to work on their own and ignore the world around them for a minute or two. These needs can directly effect a child's learning. A way to meet these needs is to allow them the space to work in the manner in which they learn best; not an easy task but possible!
Flexible seating encourages comfort which helps the students take ownership of their classroom, feel empowered in their own education, and become more engaged. Students will be able to choose to work at a table with seat cushions on the floor, with lap-desks while sitting on a balance ball, at a high table where they can stand and wiggle, on milk crates arranged in a circle, and laying on the floor.
Students will be more engaged in their work and less disruptive when they are given a choice of where to work.
My classroom is small; flexible seating will allow the students to move and select the best situation for their learning. It will also help us avoid a cramped and uncomfortable environment. The classroom will be set up in learning areas/regions by grouping similar seating styles together. For example, there will be a small group (teacher led) area, a math area and a reading area. Throughout the day they will rotate to the different areas. They will move!!!
To do your best in school, however, you must attend school. According to research, flexible seating makes students want to come to school. It encourages them to pay attention, listen, have a positive attitude, and more. The lists I found during my research expounded on myriad benefits. Who wouldn't want to come to an environment where they were experiencing success.
I tested a flexible seating option last year and let students stand at their desks to work, wiggle and learn. It was awkward because the desks were low. Also, more students needed seating variations. I intend to create a fully functioning flexible seating classroom so all students can experience the benefits of flexible seating.
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