EXTRA: A teacher responds to our blog about classroom ergonomics

Danielle Alpert, 3rd grade teacher in San Diego County, has contacted us about our February 20th blog, Schools Address Class Ergonomics. We present her interview as a special extra and hope you enjoy it.  Thank you, Miss Alpert.

 

What type of seating options work well in your 3rd grade classroom?

       A variety of seating options work well, ranging from lap desks, yoga balls, stools, cushions, or even just standing.

What led to you making those changes?

              Each student’s learning needs are unique. Giving students the opportunity to choose a seating option where they learn best creates more buy in from the student. It also allows kids to feel comfortable in their environment thus leading them to become a more successful confident learner.  

What have the results been?  Does it change behavior?  Attention span?

               Both behavior and attention span has improved. Those who need to wiggle and shake while they work choose a seating option that works best for them, while others who prefer organizing their “work area” using a lap desk may prefer this option.

Have you had positive feedback from the students?

                 Students are more engaged when using the seating options. As I release students for either partner work or to work independently, they are so excited to pick their seating option and placement in the classroom to begin working. 

Any trends that you see?

               Flexible seating options have become the modern way of setting up a classroom. As teachers, we differentiate our instruction to meet the needs of our students, so now it’s time we differentiate how we set up/organize our classroom. As I bring in new seating options throughout the year, students get to experiment with what works best for their learning. 

The only downfall is the cost. If I were given more money or support I would increase the amount of seating options in my classroom. Seeing the success in the flexible seating options I’ve implemented so far, I know I’m doing the right thing and I will slowly grow my collection.