My students thrive on flexibility and love their space, given choices where to complete a task or assignment usually brings greater successes. They are an energetic, yet focused group of 8th-grade students who are classified as autistic.
Most of my students live in a high-poverty area and some are even personally affected by poverty at home.
I can't control what happens at home, but I can provide them with a safe and welcoming learning environment when they come to school. It is important that my students are comfortable and able to focus on learning during the 6+ hours they are with me.
In addition, my students are at all different stages of growth, they are all different sizes which makes their one size fits all desk uncomfortable for most all day long. Allowing options for flexible seating with room to spread out materials would be helpful.
Flexible seating is important in schools and learning communities especially in a special needs classroom wherre most of the students are autistic. This allows them to choose a space and seating arrangement that works well for their particular needs. Currently, my students will take turns working at the one round table in the room and take turns on the stability balls I do have in class. I find that they need the extra space so as not to feel crowded when they are working. When they are given an option of work space, completion and accuracy go up.
My students are more engaged in their work and even work cooperatively with each other with more success when they are given a choice of where to work.
The chairs and tables I have chosen will help my students and support their different learning styles by giving them additional seating options so they can be set for success. The use of tables instead of desks not only encourages cooperative learning but it also allows for addition learning space and less of a confined to your desk feeling. The stability ball chairs will be extremely useful for my students who want to learn but are unable to stay still.
I have already seen how choice positively affects my students and their ability to learn. I know the additional tables and stool options will only make this more prevalent and they will reach the stars.
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