Monday, June 20, 2016

Day 39 - Wobblers and Bouncers

Source:
Light, N. (2016, November 11). Wobble chairs, bouncy balls let students wiggle while they work. The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved from https://newsela.com/articles/wobble-chairs/id/23767/

What is Sacred:
I don't know about sacred, but this article is about flexible seating, specifically using seating options other than the traditional chair or desk with table that some of the high schools still use. Instead, at about $70/chair, teachers are bringing in these wobble chairs. The article is about why they do that and what the results are.
1. It's not for every child, so if you got rid of all of your old chairs or stools, retrieve them back
2. It does help as a differentiation strategy for some students who need to fidget to think

Connections to my Current/Future Work:
I observed this particular chair at one of the Hawaii elementary schools. I was doing a lesson observation of one of my students and at the back of the room, there was one child with this chair. Everyone else had traditional 4 feet on the ground chairs. Even with the chair the student was a pacer and a very fast thinker (the topic I observed was math), so he would get reminders from the mentor teacher to go back to his seat. I think this is actually his seat which is why there was only one.

My colleague observed another of my student teachers and in her room, some students were sitting on couches, some on traditional chairs and some on yoga balls. This was not just on independent work time but during the lesson. My colleague said that the girls on the yoga ball seem engaged but the bounced for the whole period. I think the bouncing was bothering my colleague. We are dinosaurs after all.

I used to have alternative seating in my classroom too, but it was always a time and place for me. I never talk all period, but run my class via mini lessons and then minds on/hands on  so when they need to be paying attention, I need to see their eyes and read their body language. The bouncing is distracting because I have spent years honing my periphery vision and keen middle school hearing so I am easily distracted.

I expect to see more of this in the classroom, but I hope that we don't throw our furniture away. Just offer options.

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