Monday, June 1, 2015

An Alternative Seating Option for Active Learners

I am so grateful that I work with some of the most inspired teachers ever. They are always looking for ways to improve the learning environment in our reading program. This seating addition to our classrooms is no exception. 

I cannot take credit for this idea, because they adopted these new "chairs" while I was out on maternity leave. However, once I returned, I was quick to jump on board! These yoga balls make wonderful "chairs" for our small groups of learners. I keep them here, where they are balanced on their "docking stations" (otherwise known as paper plates). As students enter the room, they each pick up their own yoga ball and carry it to the table.
As with anything new and unusual, we had to establish a few expectations for our alternative seating. A few of our rules include that students may bounce on the balls while seated, but feet must remain on the floor, and bottoms must remain on the balls at all times. Understandably, the bouncing must remain at a reasonable height. Also, students may not roll or lean back on the balls, so there are no accidental falls. 
Our students have been extremely cooperative with this. They just love the seats, and just that little bit of bouncing helps them release some of that extra energy that builds up throughout the school day.