I work at an amazing school in northern California. We're amazing because we get to teach children from all over the world. As a 4th grade teacher, I see 9 and 10 year olds interact with peers who are different from themselves. Many students in my classroom are learning English, many come from low socio-economic homes, but all of them love school and arrive each day with an eagerness that is enviable!
Today's classroom environments should be conducive to open collaboration, communication, creativity, and critical thinking.
Flexible seating is one tool teachers the world over have used and seen great success with. Stools, stability balls, bean bags, couches, rockers, plastic bins, you name it...students love it, and that’s exactly what flexible-seating is about. Happier kids, healthier kids, better engagement, better results.
As an experienced teacher of just under 20 years, I feel like I've seen it all. At the beginning of my career, students were using individual desks in rows. This setup made it very difficult to have my students engage in peer conversations. Over the years, I've transitioned to tables with chairs. Recently, I found some bean bags and purchased them with my own money.
With this baby step into flexible seating, I was immediately rewarded: Children need to move!
Flexible seating allows them to wobble, rock, bounce, lean or stand, which increases oxygen flow to the brain. It also helps keep young minds more alert and focused.
In my classroom of 33 diverse students, wobble chairs and bean bags will allow them to work in groups, facilitating academic conversations. This is especially important for the students who have just arrived here in the US and are acquiring English as well as my students from low socioeconomic backgrounds.
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