My sixth graders are going through a very tough transitional year, the transition from elementary school to middle school. From the same classroom all day long, to a new class every 90 minutes. Lockers, no recess, and lengthy projects are among several of the new middle school challenges. Not to mention, these students are also learning how to succeed with a disability.
The students in my classroom are students with learning, emotional disabilities, and other health impairments.
Many of them have experienced trauma in their lives and have difficulty coming to school. Our classes serve students with a range of disabilities, including intellectual disabilities, emotional disturbance, autism spectrum disorder, and specific learning disabilities. The typical student in my class reads at a third grade level, and many struggle with math fact fluency. My students also need motor movement opportunities to help them focus.
My students need more opportunities for self-regulation. Earlier this year, I received two bicycle workstations through DonorsChoose.org. I could write for pages about how successful the workstations have been in my classroom. My students have done such a wonderful job taking turns and taking ownership of the bicycles that I want to provide them with more opportunities to regulate themselves during instruction. I have firsthand seen behaviors decrease, focus increase, and a sense of classroom community grow through the roof.
Regular physical activity can help children and adolescents improve fitness, build strong bones and muscles, control weight, reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, and can reduce the risk of some developing health conditions such as obesity and heart disease.
Unfortunately, many of our youth spend more time indoors and less time being physically active. After seeing the benefits of just two bicycle workstations in my classroom, I know my students need more opportunities to physically regulate.
Having a standing desk along with two flexible stools in the classroom will give my special education students an opportunity to regulate in an age-appropriate way, while maintaining focus during instruction.
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