Sitting in their seats too much?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by MissFroggy, Sep 7, 2012.

  1. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    Sep 7, 2012

    How much time are your students at their desks/tables? I had to arrange my room in such a way that I have no floor seating area. I have a couch area for reading (a cozy spot with a couch and rocker) and some floor space (big enough for 2-3 kids to play a game, in 3 different parts of the room) but not enough for any kind of whole group lesson. -I used to think they spent too much time on the carpet, with their backs unsupported!-

    I feel bad that they seem to be in their seats most of the day!! Every lesson begins and ends in their seats, and sometimes they are sitting for 30-40 minutes, only getting up to get materials or something.

    Is this too much?

    (2nd and 3rd grade)
     
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  3. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Sep 7, 2012

    I wonder about the same thing, however, I know as a student I HATED sitting on the floor. I think some adults don't realize that it's just as uncomfortable for kids to sit on the floor as it is for adults. They really shouldn't be down there for long periods of time. I have a very small space in the front of the room. I occasionally will call them up there for things like watching a brainpop video or read aloud, but otherwise they are in their seats. For some lessons I can incorporate things like "stand up if you agree and sit down if you disagree" or other activities like that to get them moving. I tried doing "brain breaks" where we'd stop and get up and stretch or do some small exercise, but literally NONE of my kids were into at all and they acted like I was torturing them, so I stopped doing that.
     
  4. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Sep 7, 2012

    I have seen many a 2nd and 3rd grade classroom taught entirely from desks. You're fine. I try to avoid it, but more out of personal preference. I just really like the communal feel of floor space.
     
  5. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Sep 7, 2012

    Good question.

    When I taught middle school, students would change classes every fifty or so minutes, but I still provided an opportunity for them to get up and move in the middle of class. Sometimes it was part of the lesson (Kagan activities), but if that wasn't in the cards for the day I made sure to give a brain break.

    Sitting at a desk or on the carpet for more than thirty minutes is probably a struggle for many younger elementary students. I personally like sitting on the floor, but anything for a long time is going to make me a little annoyed.
     
  6. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    Sep 8, 2012

    I have seen young students build enough stamina to sit and learn all day. So it is possible.

    In my room, they have the option to move to a more comfrotable area to work. They may remain there as long as they are working respectfully. At first they all move. LOL but after a while, only about half do.
     
  7. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Mine won't stay in their seats!! It was our first week of school and we spent some time building stamina and learning to stay in our chairs. I love having them on the carpet - I feel they are more focused there. I try to mix it up and not have them sitting anywhere too long!
     
  8. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    My kids, especially my IEP kids could never sit in their seats for that long. This week being on the rug too long was a bit of a problem. (Because going over 1st day stuff required so much time at the rug, it won't normally be like this.)

    I'm not sure what I'm going to do when it comes to 30 minutes of independent practice for reading with them at their seats. My 4th graders didn't have this problem. We do have floor pillows and a listening center so I'll try to get the real wiggly ones moving.
     
  9. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Sep 8, 2012

    If I notice the kids are too antsy during a class, I'll let them know that for that day only they can decide if they want to sit or push in their chair and stand at their desk. For my antsy kids, I make sure they help me out as much as possible with passing out supplies and papers, cleaning stuff up. Students are also allowed to go to their cubby area to get something out of their tote bags when ever they want to- I know just a few seconds of getting up helps some of them.

    Perhaps you could find some strategies that would allow them to do some physical actions while still doing learning activities. Like if you're doing math problems, ask a child to hop how many times they think the answer is- the rest of the class has to count along (also do jumping jacks, hop on one foot, clap, etc).

    Our kiddos really do need to get more exercise in to their daily learning :)
     
  10. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Sep 8, 2012

    I taught kinder one year where they spent most of the day in their seats. My room was soooo tiny, I had a small space for a carpet area & that was it. We could barely move the room was so small! The only floor space was for the meeting area & they couldn't spread out. When I did centers, they all had to be at their seats if blocks was part of our centers, since they had the carpet area.
     
  11. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    Sep 8, 2012

    You could always get rid of the couch and rocking chair if you need more room. A couch takes up a lot of room for the limited amount of people it can accommodate.
     
  12. Shizuku

    Shizuku Rookie

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    I also have limited floor space, and my carpet has yet to arrive anyway, so my fifth graders are in their seats for much of the day. We get up and stretch between subjects (between reading and writing in the morning and between math and science in the afternoon), but I still sometimes have to take a moment to let a couple of my EC kids move around more. I wait until the kids are working independently and then take that student on a walk around the edge of the classroom while we discuss some aspect of the assignment -- either one they genuinely need clarification on or one I've drummed up for the excuse of getting them moving.

    I also have an "epic" ongoing game of heads up 7-up (I keep the current rotation of winners on a board at the front), and every time my students as a class earn seven check marks for good behavior, they get to play a couple of rounds.

    I also make sure to have a lot of 'stuff' to do at the board when I am teaching a lesson (I am lucky and have a Smart Board), so that I can frequently call someone up to do something quick and fun like moving numbers so that they're in order from least to greatest, or adding proofreading marks to a sample piece of writing.
     
  13. Ilovesummer

    Ilovesummer Companion

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    Sep 8, 2012

    I don't teach any lessons on the floor, but we do reading groups and math groups most days, and one of their 4 rotations is an activity on the floor (silent reading during reading groups and a math game during math groups). For those, they are free to sprawl out however they are comfortable. For whole group instruction, mine are always in a chair. I do incorporate "stand up if you think this is true" kind of activities though, and if they seem to be losing interest in whatever lesson we're doing, I'll have everyone stand up and move for a minute. Sometimes I'll just tell them to get the wiggles out, other times I'll give them a specific direction, like, jog in place for 30 seconds, or take 2 walking laps around the classroom.
     
  14. queenie

    queenie Groupie

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    Sep 8, 2012

    Most days my kiddos are in their seats for the first hour and 15 minutes (except to get up to get supplies/go to restroom, etc.). Then we have small groups so they switch every 10 minutes for an hour or so. After Specialist they are in their seats again for about half an hour 3 of the 5 days a week. Then, after recess and lunch, they are in their seats again for about an hour and a half or so, but they are almost always allowed to get up and get books/supplies/pencils/tissues/throw trash away/go to bathroom/ etc. at will.
     
  15. Danny'sNanny

    Danny'sNanny Connoisseur

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    Sep 8, 2012

    I've always had my kids in their seats as little as possible... they may be standing at the counter, using pillows or clipboards on the floor, etc.

    Until this year. This bunch cannot function out of their seats! I have desks in rows for the first time ever, the kids love it, and their focus is so much better! I keep feeling horrible because it is not how I'm used to teaching, and I hope that as they mature and get used to my expectations we can be out of our seats more.

    But I'm also thinking... this is a very immature group, and I have a lot with ADD... maybe being in rows not tables and less movement around the room really is better for their focus issues?

    I am being sure to plan more movement... we take yoga breaks, go out to the playground and do a lap or two of the track, etc. There is also movement around the room during reading centers in the morning and math centers in the afternoon.
     
  16. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Sep 9, 2012

    I try to get my students moving as much as I can. Too much time sitting at their desks or on the floor isn't good. Instead of listing a set of items on the board for them to copy down, have them get in partners of the same gender. Have a list of 5-7 items on all one sheet of what you want them to learn. Cut them out so there is one sentence on each strip. Possibly 7 different items with 4 of each item. This would be 28 strips of paper. then pass them out. Have the partners tape the item on each others backs. Then have students go around the room writing down the information in a notebook. They love this, but they are writing down the same thing as if it was on the board or in their book. I also have them act out their vocabulary words and I take pictures. After I print this out (I use black & white printing as color is too expensive) it turns out to be the greatest word wall. Watch their vocabulary scores skyrocket. Kids love to move and get tired of sitting. If you have a very structured activity it can work without chaos.
     
  17. Shizuku

    Shizuku Rookie

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    Sep 9, 2012


    I'm stealing this!!!
     

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