Does anyone know of any current research showing the benefits of alternative seating?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Caesar753, Jul 12, 2011.

  1. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Jul 12, 2011

    I'm thinking of going with an alternative seating arrangement next year. Instead of desks or tables, I want to have a variety of seating options. Big floor pillows, bean bags, milk crates with padded tops, chairs, and tables would all be available and students could choose what they like. I'd like to do this because I'm concerned about an unfortunate combination of a terrible lack of space and abundance of students. I just can't fit enough desks and/or tables into my room to accommodate all my students. This is my solution. Before I bring my idea to the principal for permission, I'd like to have some data to support it, hopefully showing that it has some educational merit.
     
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  3. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Good question, I KNOW I saw this question posed on PT. Let me see if I can find that thread...

    ETA: Nevermind. The only research I found on PT is in regards to those stability balls...
     
  4. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    As usual, one of my primary concerns is the ability to exit the room quickly in a fire or fire drill.-- will the seats you propose stay where they're put or will they become an obstruction?

    I'm sure an administrator will bring it up, so be sure you have an answer.
     
  5. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I'm not sure how they'd be any more of an obstruction than too many desks in the room.
     
  6. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I'm just thinking that desks are heavier, and more likely to stay where you put them. So if my desks are in rows, the kids can exit.

    Floor pillows and bean bags might be more likely to be kicked into obstructions I would think. I don't know-- I've never been in a classroom that had them.
     
  7. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I'll certainly consider it and do some research, but I don't think that alternative seating would be any more of a safety hazard than already exists--honestly I think it might even be better and safer. Our school doesn't have lockers, so all 50 kids in my room have their backpacks strewn about the floor. The 50 desks will stay put, yes, but they're so close together than kids will have to climb over them to get out quickly (not exaggerating). I'm trying to work with the bad situation that currently exists, and this is the best solution that I've found so far, even if it may not be ideal.
     
  8. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Can you have them all leave their backpacks in the hallway or outside of the classroom?
     
  9. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    I had a couch in my room that I kid you not the fire marshall ordered removed because it was flammable. I didn't have the heart to tell the guy that my entire room is filled with paper and my walls are covered in cork - both of which I believe have to potential to catch fire. My point is, check with all the ridiculous regulations before you try this as you may end up not even having the option to try it.

    Also, not sure where you live mopar but I want to move there. We beg our kids to never let their bags out of their sight for fear of theft.
     
  10. LUCHopefulTeach

    LUCHopefulTeach Habitué

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    I know there's a lot of research showing the benefits of sitting on exercise balls instead of chairs at desks. I have no idea about the type of seating you mentioned though.
     
  11. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Do you have any links to research about exercise balls? It's at least a starting point.
     
  12. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I'd never ask them to leave their bags in the hallway. Our school is a rough school with lots of theft. If I start demanding that students leave their stuff in the hallways, I have to be accountable when (not if) their stuff gets jacked.
     
  13. Mrs.SLF

    Mrs.SLF Comrade

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    :rofl:
     
  14. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Can I say that we have lockers, but not a single locker has a lock on it and we aren't allowed to put locks on them. I have only had one instance of "theft" but I highly suspect that the student lost/misplaced the device.
     
  15. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Sounds like a wonderful school environment. Where's the wistful emoticon? I'll go with :cool: for your school then. :p
     
  16. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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  17. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Oh we have bullying problems and bus issues and kids making out and breaking up and cyber bullying, but usually not theft or outright fighting in school. I think we had about 5 fights all school year last year with 1000 kids in the school (5-6th).
     
  18. MissJill

    MissJill Cohort

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    wait, hold up! 50?!
    50 kids in the room??

    How do you grade papers??
     
  19. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    50 kids in the room, times six classes. 300 students.

    I have the kids grade a lot of their work. For quizzes and other assessments, it takes me a little while....
     
  20. janney

    janney Cohort

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