Amber Peters, a second grade teacher at New Albany Elementary School, has implemented a flexible seating arrangement into her classroom this year. The seating arrangement includes rocking game chairs, exercise balls, a couch, a cushioned chair, and carpet spots.
This month, Peters has been able to add two pedal desks to her arrangement thanks to funding from the Dean Provence Endowment for Education in Excellence grant program for teachers.
Peters says that she has read several articles about the different flexible seating options that are available, as well as the benefits of flexible seating in a classroom. “Most of the research shows a slight improvement in student behavior and attention,” she stated.
If you were to visit this second grade classroom, you would notice a chart taking up a portion of the whiteboard. This chart lets students know where they will sit for the day. “My students are definitely excited about where they will sit each day. It gives them something to look forward to,” Peters said. I think they feel more at home, because most of the seats are relaxed. I believe there is an excitement to be at school which does spill over and help keep the students motivated to learn.”
When asked if she had noticed an increase in the improvement of behavior, Peters said that she had not had any discipline referrals or major discipline issues this year. She did add that she has had to spend a small amount of time dealing with students who are having difficulty handing certain seating arrangements. She has kept a few standard classroom desks in her room when instances such as this arise.
Flexible seating in the classroom is something Peters plans to continue next school year and is excited to see how a new class of students will respond to concept.