As I began my second year of teaching, I realized that I wanted to change my classroom in a pretty drastic way. Throughout college, I read many articles about flexible seating and how it can positively impact student behavior and achievement. I began brainstorming about ways that I could implement similar changes to my classroom but knew that cost would be an issue. That is when Moving Minds stepped in and made our wildest dreams come true.
Transforming into a Colorful, Collaborative Space
Our classroom was chosen for a flexible seating makeover and the results were astonishing! We received myriad items like TiltED seats, wobble stools, ball chairs, and a student favorite, the whiteboard study desk. My room was transformed into a colorful, comfortable, collaborative space overnight.
Students were so excited to use the furniture and I could see differences in their energy level as well as cooperation. They began pairing and sharing more often and remained engaged in learning processes for longer. One of my favorite sights to see was my students using the whiteboard study desk and working collaboratively with one another. They were drawing out models for fraction story problems.
Then they helped their peers who were struggling to understand. It was so powerful to see students teaching one another and as a teacher I was so proud. Each week we change seats and students get to choose their seat based on positive behavior and work quality. Initially I was nervous about how it would impact my behavior management. As a new educator, there is always more to learn. I took a risk and it was one of the best decisions I have made.
Students Are More Focused
At the beginning of the year, many students were up out of their seats. I have a very active class this year and it was challenging to keep everyone in their seat and focused. Overall, the flexible seating has changed my student focus. They are not getting up as frequently and are able to comfortably move around to keep their brain stimulated. I look forward to collecting data on how the active seats affect their academics in a positive way.
Currently, my classroom is the only one in the school to offer flexible seating and I would really like to see that change. I have overheard students mentioning that they like being able to move around from one place to another quickly and easily. I have heard another student say that the wobble stool keeps them more alert and engaged because they are continuously moving.
Other Benefits of Active Seating
In addition, we want our students to be successful in the future. Having the opportunity to move around results in efficient communication and strong academic conversation and gives students practice working with another. Soft skills like collaboration will be important for their future, and if we start teaching them young, they will be ready when they need to communicate in their careers.
My name is Jaylyn Fisher and I am a 5th grade teacher. My favorite thing about teaching is connecting with the students and getting to be a continuous learner. I am intrigued by innovative ideas that can benefit my students and I am always willing to try something new. Our most recent change to our classroom is flexible seating and my students have responded very well to it. I have seen an increase in confidence, collaboration, and communication. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with family and friends. I love to go to sporting events and the beach.