Mars Area Elementary School has introduced “flexible seating” in two of the school’s classrooms.
Students in Jamie Waters’ fourth grade class and Tracey Jones third grade class arrived at school last week to find a new seating arrangement in their classrooms, with notes left by a mysterious elf who set up the new furniture in over night.
Instead of the traditional school desks and chairs, the students found balance balls, jellyfish chairs, wedge cushions, beanbags, bungee chairs, standing tables, wobble stools and more.
“Flexible seating empowers students to be the best learners that they can be by giving them a choice in a variety of seating options that promote student focus and learning,” said Waters.
“When physical needs are met, learning is able to take place more easily,” says Jones.
On their first day with the new seating, the students received an introduction to the safe and proper use of each option as well as a set of class rules to maintain a productive and successful learning environment.
Mars Area Elementary School purchased the flexible seating with partial funding from a Mars Planet Foundation Teaching Enrichment Grant. Jones, Waters and Debra Kravets, support teacher, applied for the grant at the start of the 2017-2018 School Year.
In the grant application, the teachers noted that flexible seating is a 21st Century classroom seating option that actively engages students and enables them to better “navigate their knowledge base, exercise their voice in the process, and maximize their learning potential.”
The introduction of flexible (or alternative) seating is a growing trend in U.S. schools and is said to increase students’ motivation, focus and engagement as well as to improve metabolism, core strength and overall posture.
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