Help me give my students the FlexSpace items including the couches and collaborative floor space, along with the other flexible seating options, to continue having success with choice seating, but in a safer and more sanity environment.
My classroom is a second home to approximately seventy students in fifth grade, who rotate in the room in two classes for math and science. My students are some of the most genuine and caring kids you will ever meet. They come from a variety of backgrounds, but over a third of them receive free or reduced lunches, and forty percent receive additional academic support from either Title 1 or special education services. We are part of a supportive district, however, the district is one of the lowest funded in the state. We recently cut several million dollars from our budget, creating an increase in class sizes.
My students have been thriving in the flexible seating arrangement and need to be able to continue to have this access to success.
Without help from the community, I will not have enough seating for my increasing number of students, and what I do have is not safe, as it is mainly fabric and can't be easily cleaned (which has become a greater priority since the Covid-19 outbreak).
My students are hard workers and are dedicated to improving themselves, and I want to continue to support them by meeting their individual needs.
Last year I transitioned my fifth grade classroom to have flexible seating for my students. The change was inspired by the growing number of students who are not as successful in the traditional desk arrangements, and need space and options to fit their learning needs. I did my classroom overhaul out of my own pocket, and proudly set it up for my students in the fall. It was an instant success. Students were not only more successful academically, but they were more engaged and more easily able to collaborate with their peers.
However, with the Covid-19 pandemic, I am wanting to ensure the safety of my students when we return to the classroom, without compromising the research-supported flexible classroom design.
I am asking for help in replacing my cloth based furniture with these items that are more easily wiped or washed. Students will use the wobbles stools and balance balls to help their bodies stay engaged and alert at tables. The couches offer a comfortable spot in the room for a couple students to work together in a conversational setting. The floor seating allows students to stretch not only their minds, but their bodies too.
My students had some of the greatest gains I have ever witnessed this year, and I believe that was in large part due to the flexible seating environment I provided. They have lost so much this year, I don't want them to lose the opportunity to learn in a way that is best for them to reach their full potential.
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