We are a class that celebrates diverse thinking and abilities. If you were to look in our classroom you may think we look very homogeneous. However, we have students from varied backgrounds, abilities, and dreams. Community building is an integral part of our classroom. I have done this by incorporating a nature theme complete with a fake campsite to read in, bean bag chairs, stools, and our class is broken up into tribes which we utilize to have students encourage each other, learn from each other, and provide some enthusiasm. Creating the best learning environment allows us to provide the ideal conditions for each student to learn. We have students in our classroom who are gifted and talented, students with learning disabilities, emotional impairments, and autism. We have already worked hard to create a positive, community strong learning environment and have slowly added in multiple options to make students more comfortable (wobble stools, pillows, and standing desks), but are ready to take things to the next level by getting rid of our desks! We want all students to be able to learn, practice, and work in the way that is best for them.
We want to get rid of the desks in our room! We have done the work to create the environment, expectations, and community in our classroom for students to take responsibility for their learning. Do you remember sitting for hours in a classroom with hard, plastic chairs? Would you have performed better if you were allowed to take ownership of sitting on a wobble chair or pedal on a bicycle desk while you worked?
Flexible seating creates:
Community: We have already made community an integral part of our classroom. Flexible seating emphasizes that our classroom is something we all share and take ownership of. Traditional desks, in contrast, affirm the idea that everyone has their own territory or space.
Ownership of their education. STUDENTS are choosing where/ how they learn best. Allowing students to CHOOSE where they will sit empowers them. When students choose where they will sit they are also taking responsibility to be able to work in that location.
MOVEMENT! Some of our students have difficulty sustaining attention or have a lot of energy in their body. Flexible seating (and especially a bike desk) increases oxygen and blood flow to the brain which can help students focus and attend to the content!
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