Alternative Seating

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by KinderK8, Jun 22, 2015.

  1. KinderK8

    KinderK8 New Member

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    Jun 22, 2015

    Hi all! So, I am going into my third year teaching kindergarten. I'm at a very low SES school. Most of my students have had no formal education before coming into K. This is problematic in that students struggle to sit in their chairs. I do not expect perfection but the students crawl on top of the desks, lean waaaaay back despite many reminders/consequences, are constantly out of their seats, or are asleep on their desks.

    I don't feel that it is primarily a behavioral management issue (the students are generally quiet, participate in the lesson, etc.), but just a developmental issue. So I'm considering alternative seating options that are more engaging. I've done quite a bit of reading on incorporating exercise balls in the classroom and that is what I'm leaning toward right now.

    Cons to the exercise balls seem to be primarily that they roll around. There are other, more sophisticated seating options that don't roll, but these are VERY pricey (like $60-100/seat), and I have a donor willing to invest in some relatively inexpensive alternative seating.

    Other than the exercise balls, I'm considering the inflatable seat disks or these things called "donut exercise balls," which are like exercise balls that are squished down in the middle (they look like donuts :D).

    I just don't know which option is the best :/ The yoga ball requires core muscle use to stay upright, which is supposed to be a benefit of it, and I'm not sure if the donut/seat pads do the same. Does anyone have experience using any of these? Any tips/tricks? I would like to purchase a classroom set of one of the options, not use multiple things. Thanks in advance!
     
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  3. TnKinder

    TnKinder Companion

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    Jun 22, 2015

    You also ight want to give the students the option of standing or sitting on the floor. I had two of my tables raised so the students coud stand and students can also take materials to the carpet if they want to sit on the floor. Kids at this age can't sit for long periods. Having options might help.
     
  4. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Jun 22, 2015

    Developmentally, many kinders do not have strong enough core muscles to sit on an exercise ball for any length of time. Instead, I'd be afraid they would turn in to "play balls" instead of seats.

    Also, while it is hard to get them to sit on chairs at first, I'd hate to get to the end of kindergarten and still have that issue. I'd imagine that would make things difficult for 1st grade.

    Learning to sit correctly in a chair is an important kinder skill.

    I think I'd choose the seat cushions (sometimes called bounce cushions) that let them squirm around a bit, all-the-while staying in the chair.
     
  5. heatherberm

    heatherberm Cohort

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    Jun 22, 2015

  6. Mrs.Sprig

    Mrs.Sprig New Member

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    Jun 23, 2015

    You could also try giving them fidget toys or items to distract them from wanting to get out of their seat as much. Another idea may be to incorporate some movement lessons into their day such as a scavenger hunt to find the lesson items or plans for the day. Or they could do some jumping jacks or dancing before or after each lesson to try and work out some of their energy that way they focus on you better.
     

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