No chairs in a classroom

Discussion in 'Early Childhood Education Archives' started by SpecialPreskoo, Feb 21, 2005.

  1. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    Feb 21, 2005

    I've been reading posts on KinderKorner group on yahoo about no chairs in Kindergarten... saying they do better being on their feet. Has anyone heard of this?

    If any of you want to know more of what is being posted on there, I'll cut and paste the highlights of the conversations.

    I'm going to try this in my room with my preschool special ed. Maybe it will help with their antsy pants.

    Lori
     
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  3. sdhudgins

    sdhudgins Comrade

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    Feb 21, 2005

    well I do know that younger kids do well if they can get above what they are workign on...
    I don't remember where I read that (but it was something in the education world) I think it was Modern Red Schoolhouse stuff.

    I usually don't use chairs with my younger music students.. we do everythign standing up!
     
  4. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    My kids make the choice of standing or sitting and it is amazing how many of them prefer to stand and do their work.
     
  5. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    we have some of our kids stand for tasks when they're getting really fidgety, and it does help... sometimes. ;)

    I also had a teacher who said that if you couldn't sit in your chair properly (all legs on the floor), you couldn't sit in a chair at all... she'd take chairs away for a while from kids who rocked... they didn't rock much after that. ;)
     
  6. TeachWildThings

    TeachWildThings Comrade

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    Feb 23, 2005

    In my experience in special ed even circle has chairs. Rarely do children sit on the floor except in the play areas. They Never stand and do work. I know some of it has to do with PT/OT issues, some kids even have foot stools. I wonder though what would happen if they were given a choice. Maybe when I'm in my own classroom I'll give it a try for the squirmy ones!
     
  7. litlmama

    litlmama Comrade

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    I wonder what would happen if I tried this with 9th graders. I do have one kid that stands to do all of his artistic endeavors. I wonder if some of these kids never outgrow it.

    My 20 month old doesn't do well eating when he's seated. He prefers to stand. My four year old has forgotten how the kitchen chair actually works. He can hover for an hour (the time it takes him to get through dinner) on the very edge of the chair on one foot with the other dangling somewhere. This is a new development.
     
  8. mccwen

    mccwen Comrade

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    Feb 23, 2005

    This is an interesting topic. I have kids that definitely like to stand, one in particular (who is very short) and I don't make too much of a fuss about him standing, as long as his chair isn't blocking the aisle. Maybe sitting or standing is like how some students work with their tongue's hanging out- it helps them concentrate. :p
     
  9. krwaggieteach

    krwaggieteach Companion

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    Feb 23, 2005

    I have a lot of students who prefer to stand. It doesn't bother me, as long as they are on task!
     
  10. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    The only thing that would concern me would be poor posture from standing and bending over a table or counter to color or whatever...as my kids tend to do. Another thought, table manners are of utmost importance to me so I insist that the kids sit during meal times and I would hope that parents would enforce that at home. The way some kids keep getting out of their chairs during lunch makes me think they don't stay at the table at home.
     
  11. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    Feb 23, 2005

    Grammy.... don't even get me started on table manners... LOL. I have these 2 in my room... nah... ain't going there! LOL

    That is for a different topic!

    So far so good with no chairs except for one that wants to hang on the table and sloop down... I send him to the corner where he has nothing to hang on for a couple of minutes, then he does fine. I have another that wants to climb on the table... same thing... corner for a few minutes with nothing to climb on and when he comes back he is fine.

    Some of the teachers on KinderKorner talked about using those fitness balls to sit on... those big blow up therapy balls. I've seen them in catalogs with tips to keep them from rolling all over the place. Helps them with their balance and keeps them from figiting with other stuff while they concentrate on sitting on the ball. IF they bounce the balls, they lose it for a short time... like a ball time-out I guess. :) The teachers say it only takes a couple of times before they stop bouncing them.

    Lori


    Lori
     
  12. litlmama

    litlmama Comrade

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    Feb 23, 2005

    We are working on the table manners with the boys. My youngest, who hates being in his booster seat is belted in and if he doesn't eat in his chair he doesn't eat. My four year old used to be awesome at the table, now he is just so antsie he doesn't stay still. This has started about the same time he started pre-school. (I thought it was a phase) I don't know what we are going to do with him. We correct him constantly, but five minutes later he has forgotten what we told him. Any ideas?
     
  13. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    Feb 23, 2005

    litlmama, I've started a table manners thread... maybe someone will post their ideas on there. :)

    Lori
     
  14. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    If he has started this getting up problem since he started Preschool, I would question what they are doing at Preschool. Like I said, table manners are of utmost importance in my classroom) and the teacher needs to be persistant and strict or they will all be getting up ,etc. I would think that to be the problem. Meanwhile, if it was my child and he persisted in getting out of his chair, I would recommend a good treat(ice cream) or whatever if he has finished his whole meal AND stayed in his chair the whole time. BUT! Do not under any circumstances give in or it won't work. After one or two days, he will stay in his chair.oH, and that means no treat later on either...or he will not believe you for sure and think oh well I don't care I'll get a treat later on anyway. Now if you don't like that idea, what do you think of a firm swat on the behind??? Or ,are you against that? Either way, remember who is in charge.
     
  15. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Feb 23, 2005

    We use the ball chairs sometimes... for some kids, it really DOES help... gives them just enough controlled movement... or the swivel bases on their chairs...

    I went to a presentation by an adult with AUtism... she actually has in her contract at work that she's allowed to sit on the ball chair, but it's written in how far (read... NOT) she's allowed to be off the chair.
     
  16. ellen_a

    ellen_a Groupie

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    Feb 24, 2005

    Some of my kids do well sitting with a Sit'N'Cush, which allows them to wiggle and fidgit in a controlled manner in their seat. My OT brings them as needed although our district has a shortage so I bought an exercise balance disc at Marshalls for $7 that does the same thing. You can inflate it pretty large and convert a normal chair into more of a ball chair.

    My middle schoolers can choose to sit or stand while working. Most sit for academic small groups and independent seat work (one stands for seat work). Many of them prefer to stand when doing vocational tasks--they can access the materials easier I guess. I have a classroom rule that you sit to eat and even if you aren't eating, you join your friends at the table.
     
  17. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    OH yeah... the wedgie seats, too... they help... think it's probably like your sit-n-cush... one side of the wedge is smooth, the other side is nubby... somek ids sit on them, we use them to "prop up" a couple of other ones (they're pretty small, but have them sitting in large charis so they can see better at group activities at the table... but that makes it WAY easy to slough... not with the wedges!)
     
  18. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    I've tried those wedges... they get off of them and want to play with them. So I don't use them.
     
  19. ellen_a

    ellen_a Groupie

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    We don't have the wedges (although I've used them before). Ours are round discs.
     
  20. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Most of our kids if they're using the wedges have to sit with the bumpy side DOWN... for that reason, Lori. ;)
     
  21. ViolaSwamp

    ViolaSwamp Habitué

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    litlmama,
    I wonder if you litl guy sits so much at school he needs more time to get his fidgets out. (?)

    I saw a news broadcast where every child in an entire school had balls to sit on! I think it may have been in my area.

    Along similar lines...I subbed in a class that had no desks, only a few couches and tables. The kids did a lot of work sitting on the floor or couches with clipboards. I wasn't too excited about the program overall, but I think the couches/floors and clipboards might be a nice change for say one subject a day (if the room is carpeted or you have enough cusions).

    ellen_a,
    I think I know what you are talking about. It is a disc about an 1 1/2 thick and a little less than a foot wide. It's a rubber shell (kind of like the balls) and it seems like a little water bed. Am I right?

    I LOVE the idea of taking away chairs for those who rock! I had one kid in my internship who I told, "Four on the floor" to until I was blue in the face!
     
  22. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Most of my kids sit to do "seat" work. It doesn't bother me when they stand & lean over the table. BUT it is a huge problem for my teaching assistant. :eek: She wants them on their bottoms! She's very old school, so much that it drives me nuts sometimes!
     
  23. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    My mom always told me that a chair has 6 legs. 4 of the chair's and 2 of yours. ;)
     
  24. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    Feb 25, 2005

    KPA, if you take away the chairs, your assistant can't harp on the kids stay on the bottoms. :) But she'd probably end up griping about the fact that you took the chairs away. :)

    Lori
     
  25. ViolaSwamp

    ViolaSwamp Habitué

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    Special-ha ha

    Kpa-Sorry, can't help it. I know you didn't ask for advice, it was bugging me. Personally, I would let her know when it is ok with you for them to stand and when it is expected that they sit. Something to the effect of "as long as they are productive" or "I expect them to sit when..." I learned from a very bright little guy with ADHD who would "hang" by his desk during my lessons. He'd plant his folded arms on the desk and stand with his behind in the air. It kept him near his desk but he got to stand. He was very good at dealing with his own fidgetyness and it was not disruptive. If we can teach/let a kid recognize and deal with their problems in a non-disruptive way we could teach them to cope as adults.

    Besides we are talking about your classroom right? Not that we are talking about a monarchy, but as long as you have a valid rationale (and it bugs you as much as it's bugging me :D) I say go at it. Ha ha.
     
  26. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Viola, You're right it is my classroom. Unfortunately, due to some things my assistant has said (& the way she said it), I need to pick my battles very carefully. I have to work with her for the rest of the year & I don't want our tension affecting the kids! She was out of my room for a week in hopes of calming things down, after she said certain things. It's a tough situation.
     
  27. ViolaSwamp

    ViolaSwamp Habitué

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    Kpa,
    I see. Like I said it was bugging me. ha ha. In the scheme of things it is a pretty small thing. Wishing you a peaceful rest of the year. :)
     
  28. jodioharris

    jodioharris New Member

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    Feb 27, 2005

    Chairs as needed

    I read your post with great interest as I am am American teaching English to pre-schoolers and kindergarteners in Japan. Here, the classroom is an open room with a hard-wood floor. Materials, including the chairs and tables, are stored and brought out on an as needed basis. We are moving constantly, and when we are not, we usually sit on on the floor. We bring out the chairs and tables when we are writing. It is really fantastic the way that one space can be utilized for many purposes.

    On the other hand, my Japanese colleagues are fascinated by the way in which American schools teach children in small groups; which is often times accomplished by arranging tables and chairs to establish individual stations or learning centers.

    My ideal situation would be a bit of both worlds... Lots of open space with some stations (and furniture) utilized as an opportunity to work in small groups at times; and enough tables and chairs to enable the class as a whole to work together as a group.
     
  29. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    jodio, I had that last year! It was fantastic. I had space for a group of 4 tables that seated 6 children each. Plus I had a teacher work table, I used it to work with small groups of children. My assistant had a table for her desk, in addition to my desk. I still had enough space that the blocks, housekeeping, reading corners each had their seperate areas with enough space. I also had an area that I also used for calendar & other things. It was a dream room!!

    The school grew & I lost space so that they could create more rooms. It's still a nice sized room, but it's not the dream room that I had before.
     
  30. scarlet_begonia

    scarlet_begonia Comrade

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    clarnet--I love the saying from your mom--my students will definitely be hearing that chairs have six legs in the future! My kids don't mess with the chairs too much, because I will take them away, but they insist on sitting on their feet, or with their legs spread and a foot on either side of the chair. When we are eating, this drives me craaazzzy because I feel it's poor table manners.

    Regarding children who don't sit while doing work, I think it may help stabilize muscles while doing fine motor activities. I also have a very small boy who stood all the time. I didn't care when he was working or playing but it bothered me at lunchtime (like I said, I harp on table manners.) I now give him an adult-sized chair and he's fine. Turns out the poor child just wanted to reach his food.
     
  31. sandimreyes

    sandimreyes Comrade

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    Have you ever read something and felt like you just got hit in the head with an answer you didn't even KNOW you needed? That's how I feel right now.

    Each year I have students who stand up while doing center work or while at my reading table. My response is always, "Sit down, please." I think I respond that way from habit and because I've been sublimally taught (or maybe intentionally taught) that they should be sitting at that particular time of the day. It NEVER honestly occurred to me that maybe there is a reason that they NEED to stand. WOW! Such a simple concept...gonna try it. If they stand up, I'll just let 'em stand. So simple...

    Another thing I've heard and might try is to lower all the tables as low and they can go, remove the chairs from the room and allow students to sit on the floor on carpet squares at the tables. Any thoughts?
     
  32. LuvPreKTeachin

    LuvPreKTeachin Rookie

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    Mar 15, 2005

    That is so wild that you guys are posting about this! Our kindergarteners are the same way! We had one that was sitting on her knees in the chair today. After about a million reminders to "sit on your bottom" she went to get up and got her feet stuck in the back and fell out. Luckily, she wasn't seriously hurt! A lot of what you all have been posting makes sense! I'll have to forward some suggestions on to my co-workers!!

    Crystal
     
  33. litlmama

    litlmama Comrade

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    Mar 15, 2005

    The whole standing at the desk thing seems to be working for one of my antsiest 9th graders. He can not be still during a test. I finally suggested that he stand at the back counter to take his test. It's been great, my kids are not distracted by his constant movements, and his incessant pen tapping anymore. When I present information or we read together he is fine in his desk, but working individually he does best when he stands.
     

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