My students face a variety of challenges in their everyday life. Our school is in a rural area of northern California with the majority of families being affected by poverty. My kindergarten students still come to school excited to explore and learn new things. My students learn by doing, by using their senses, by singing, moving, collaborating, and experimenting.
One day, after figuring out a new concept, one of my students giggled and exclaimed, "I love learning!" I will never forget the look in his eyes the moment they filled with amazement.
I want every student to feel that excitement about learning.
Kindergarteners naturally want to move all the time. The standard chair and desk doesn't fit every student's need. In Kindergarten we do a lot of singing and moving while we learn, but we also practice writing and do other learning activities while seated which can be challenging for some students. Often children will rock their chairs and end up falling and it's usually not a smooth landing. Instead of fighting that desire that students have to to move, we should be making the most of that opportunity to keep their circulation going and letting them move so they can focus on what we are learning.
"Movement has been shown by educational, cognitive, psychological, medical, and behavioral research to be one of the best ways to get all children - neurotypical and neurodiverse (special needs) children alike - to gain control over their behavior and to engage with and retain what is being taught to them." (Nina Fiore, 2014, "The Benefits of Movement in Schools," http://www.creativitypost.com/education/the_benefits_of_movement_in_schools)
This is the first phase of transitioning my class into flexible seating. I would like to continue this effort with more seating options, but these wobble stools and foot bands are a priority. Thank you for helping my students!
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