I am in my 3rd year of teaching Kindergarten and each year I find that my students need more choice and activity. They are very active and like to lay on the floor, rock in their chairs, and bounce around. My goal this year is to provide my students with a learning environment full of choice where they are able to choose the best learning space for what they need.
Put kids in control of their own learning, and its amazing what they will learn.
I have 26 sweet, bright eyed, and eager to learn kindergarteners who come into my classroom every day. They come from a variety of backgrounds and income levels, yet they all are excited to be there and learn. I have started to offer a few options in terms of seating to my students during workshop time. I have two pillows, stools, and the carpet. During this time they are also allowed to work at any table they choose. This is the time during the day that they love the most, because they are in control of their learning. Engagement, focus, and pure joy from each student is extremely visible during this hour block.
Brain research shows that moving, stretching, and walking can actually enhance the learning process. The brain learns best and retains most when the body is actively involved in physical activity. With my project fulfilled, I would be able to offer my students a variety of seating options to best met their needs. The students who need more wiggling to focus can do just that on a wiggle stool. Those students who find comfort their best learning environment can accomplish this on a bean bag or pillow, and those students who need lots of movement to calm their brain can bounce on a ball to get their work done. The students will be able to be in the learning environment that best suits their needs and therefore be more successful.
The students minds would be actively engaged and their bodies more healthy, allowing for greater student achievement.
When I think back to my own kindergarten experience, I wasn't asked to sit in a chair at an assigned seat for the majority of my day, I was given the opportunity to move, sit, stand, lay down; what suited me best for the activity I was accomplishing. This is the environment I would like to offer to my own students. I have observed my students happier, more engaged, and more effectively working when they are more comfortable and allowed movement when needed. With the variety of flexible seating options, I see their learning this way all day rather than for just an hour block. My students will be given the opportunity to make responsible choices throughout the entire day in regards to their work space, be more comfortable, as well as, get the most out of our classroom activities.
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