aWhat do you envision when you think of a typical classroom? Typically, growing up we all sat in perfectly even rows of individual student desks. Although its true that our classroom set up and our teaching styles have changed over the decades we are still only using the same desks and chairs. So where does this put our fidgety children, how do we get them to assimilate into the classroom and learning if they can’t stop moving around? Special education providers and parents are moving more and more towards alternative seating options.
Alternative ‘Chairs’ (alternative seating)
Occupational therapist are increasingly recommending using balance ball, or more commonly known as exercise balls, as seats because it allows the student to move in the same spot without disrupting others. You can even find balance balls chairs (already made) to better control the movement. This alternative seating option has spread to offices and other settings as well because of the added health benefits: helps align the spine and relieves pain. This school year I have even seen some creative teachers put the balance balls into plastic crates, which is the more economical version of the already made ones.
Other therapists and teachers will recommend wiggle cushions. Wiggle cushions can be carried in the students back pack and travel with them to wherever they may be going so its much more financially efficient.
An increasingly popular seating arrangement in classroom is no seating! This must sound like pure chaos to some parents but with the proper procedures in place, teachers are implementing movement seating with great success. Movement seating is just as it sounds, its allowing students to move around as they do their work. Students can walk around the class library space as they’re reading or stand up against a wall to do their math. It allows for the students to find their comfortable position so that their entire minds can focus on learning.
Floor time has been around for our preschool and kinder little ones for decades; you’ve probably heard of ‘circle time’ which is the same concept. However, older grade level teachers are now incorporating this into their classrooms as well. Floor time lets the students sit “criss cross,” or on the knees or bellies. This is my personal favorite for my own reading and studying.
What do you think your child or students would prefer in their classrooms?
Photo by: Eden, Janine and Jim