Standing up...

Discussion in 'General Education' started by silverspoon65, Apr 11, 2011.

  1. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    The other day I had a student tell me she felt too wired and she didn't want to sit down. She asked me if she could stand up in the back of the room. I didn't see what the big deal would be. Of course 2 others wanted to do it too. They both stood at my podium and took notes there, and the other girl stood in the back and just bent over a desk. It wasn't a problem at all.

    Do you let students stand? I have seen classrooms with higher desks. I guess if you had a bar height counter, students could sit at a stool or stand. As long as they didn't start dancing around and being silly, I don't think it would be a problem. Sometimes I feel bad for them sitting all day.
     
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  3. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    I do, even for the little ones. My motto is as long as they work, I don't really care how or where they do it.
     
  4. Learner4Life

    Learner4Life Cohort

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    I do. I know the students who will subconsciously stand and usually try and seat them at the back of the room... I have two of them in my classroom.
     
  5. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Oh, and I myself hardly sit during the day. I stand all day long, so I understand them wanting to stand. It makes sense to me..
     
  6. Danny'sNanny

    Danny'sNanny Connoisseur

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    My kids sit, stand, sprawl out on their bellies... whatever they need to get their work done and be comfortable.
     
  7. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    I do let mine stand but I guess its a little different with high schoolers. Mine are still pretty close to the table when they stand :) I had a few classes in HS where they let us stand, sit wherever (on the floor, on a desk, etc) and I always thought that was really awesome of the teacher to not have such a strict environment. In my senior AP english class, we would just all sit/stand around wherever and talk about books. I loved it! I guess it would depend if the students are still focused/paying attention.
     
  8. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    It would probably depend on the specific child and situation to me. I think there's something to be said for accommodating preferences such as sitting standing, but also something to be said for getting kids ready to function in the world beyond high school.

    I'd probably be less likely to do this with a high school student, though I'm not sure I'd fight it if it seemed it were going that way.

    In your case, seems like you thought it through, it's working, and is a positive experience!
     
  9. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    I let my kids stand and work on the floor! I had some "floor boards" , made of some white board from Home Depot. My kids are younger, but I definitely let them sit, stand, lay down; however they can get their work done.
     
  10. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I teach English in the Science Room--there is a long counter at the back and two high "chopping block" type tables on one side wall where students can stand or sit on high stools. As long as they are working and listening, it doesn't bother me too much where they sit.
     
  11. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    I might look for some additional lecterns on clearance or on freecycle or in storage at our school so the kids can stand and have a place to write.
     
  12. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    I let my high school kids stand. I have one who really likes to lay down on the floor during lectures because he can focus better. I have one student who has a little area in the back of the room to pace in during class. It works for the kids and doesn't bother me.
     
  13. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I usually have one or two children each year who need to stand to do their work. I sit them at the back of the class so they don't block the view of others. My children have to earn the privilege of sitting on the rug with a clipboard, because they tend to fool around.
     
  14. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    I too allow them to stand or lay down or sit. I really don't care as long as they are working or listening.
     
  15. misterdee

    misterdee Rookie

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    Depending on the size of the kids, ironing boards can make unique work spaces.
     
  16. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    I have never had much of an issue with this. If it were something that would distract me, I would not be able to allow it. They have many chances to stand and move around throughout the day. I am stuck standing for most of the day and would love the opportunity to sit some more.
     
  17. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    Good idea.

    I do let my creative writing class do whatever they want when they are writing - on the floor, on the desk part, at the table, in the hall (one person, anyway). They are funny. But that's a different sort of class. But I think regular English can be like that sometimes too. It's just that my classes are so large. Sometimes it causes problems.
     
  18. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    I hate this comparison. School and many other jobs are not the same. There are so many different fields people will go into. Some are desk jobs where the public will see them, some are desk jobs behind closed doors and no one really cares if they stand or sit. Some have to sit for their jobs. Some never sit for their jobs.

    Now, if you say you are preparing them for the college classroom with a professor that will not allow them to stand I would say that your statement is accurate. If you are preparing them for the "real world", nahhh, there are just too many possibilities out there. If we really wanted to do that we would have to have stand-up days for the whole school where no one got to sit the entire day for those that are going into fields where they will be standing and other sort of types of days.

    Fact is, making an antsy kid sit that will do his work quietly and completely while standing is just about control and nothing else. The real world is so diverse to say they have to sit to prepare them for the "real world" is one of those lovely teacher sayings to get what they want regardless of the truth.
     
  19. Ms.SLS

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    I have found that things get broken, moved, etc when kids are standing. Of course, it's mostly the kids who just can't sit still and want to wander that ask to stand...although wandering and standing are two different things.

    I try to work in movement into my lessons, and the funny thing is, when it's an assignment that requires standing and moving, they act like I'm trying to kill them.
     
  20. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    My husband's office just moved and some people chose to have desks that they could use standing so even businesses are realizing some people are more efficient that way.
     
  21. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    I agree - I actually thought of this thread because I saw an ad for a treadmill desk and I have seen this on the news where some companies have these treadmills to keep people active. It is supposed to be more natural and stimulate the brain or something.

    I would go so far as to say this isn't even true for college. There have been plenty of times I have had a long class and I just stood up and went to the back of the room and stood for awhile or stretched. I never had a professor who seemed to mind.
     
  22. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    I let my kids work however is comfortable for them as long as they get their work done and they aren't distracting.
     
  23. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    You know, it's funny - when I was in college, I used to sit in odd places like on the stairwell - I'm definitely one of those people that hates to sit still. I like the treadmill idea someone threw out - I would definitely learn better on a treadmill!

    I see what you're saying a2z, and I'm with you mostly. I wouldn't get head to head with you making a kid sit down :). To address your points, first - yes, in a high school classroom I'd be tempted to say I were preparing someone for college. While another poster mentioned standing in the back of the class, and I too broke a few rules with seating positions :), there were many times in colleges when this would have just been odd, and not feasible. So yes, getting someone used to the demands of the next step in life would be fairly helpful. Just like 5th grade classrooms sometimes start switching teachers toward the end of the year to get kids used to middle school.

    On a broader level, it's not so much about the specific act about standing, as it is about getting kids used to being in environments that don't cater to their preferences. Standing is just one example of a way that a high school teacher could allow a student to not conform - the teacher could allow snacks, allow gum, allow cell phone use, allow students to freely leave for restroom breaks, allow laying down, etc. None of these are huge, but one of the functions of education is socialization, and part of socialization is teaching them that in most environments, they have to forego personal preferences of some kind.

    I guess this last point is really beyond the individual act of letting a kid stand. Honestly, I'd be inclined to do it, provided that my class was relatively behaved, and student in question were actively engaged. I'd be more concerned with the child's actual education than the trivial amount of help forcing compliance would serve in preparing the child for a future of have to forego personal preference.

    I guess my overall point is that teachers shouldn't try to accommodate a child's every want, because that will lead to children not being able to adapt to environments where they can't have this. Even in an environment where they can stand, they will still have certain other personal restrictions. It's not really about the exact behavior of standing - it's more that the child doesn't have to follow a procedure simply because it's not their preference to learn that way. However, if this isn't a widespread theme in a classroom - in other words, if the class is on task, and not otherwise trying to be accommodated in every small way - I probably wouldn't have an issue with the standing.

    Sorry, a2z, that you hated my comparison :).
     
  24. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    EdEd, this arguement I agree with much more. Every child's EVERY whim should not be catered too. I agree with that. I also agree there are times where it may not be acceptable to stand.

    I didn't take OPs post to mean that every child got to do whatever they wanted whenever they wanted. I see it being very mature for a student to recognized that learning will be jeopardized by having to sit still. And if given the choice between a student NOT learning a lesson because he is forced to sit and cannot concentrate because of the antsy feeling OR learning the lesson while standing, the main goal is student mastery of academics so I would choose standing (without disruption and breaking things as another poster pointed out). There is plenty of time in the day to teach students to lock step with every pre-defined scenario.
     
  25. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    We agree a2z!
     
  26. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    I agree, too. I think they get this... There are definitely times when they know I am going to say No, you can't stand up. Like while taking a test, for example.
     
  27. gebakat

    gebakat Rookie

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    I'm about to embark on a great experiment. I had a parent purchase stability balls as chairs for my entire class. I'll be introducing them on Thursday (they are a bit stinky and are airing out). They are supposed to be more comfortable and help keep kids on task. And no, we will not be bouncing around the class although my class will be known as the one with the most balls.:lol:
     
  28. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Wow, please let us know how that works out! What age?
     
  29. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Cool! Also, sometimes with some threads I like to take the opposing viewpoint if no one else has just to explore all sides of the issue. I am pretty nontraditional when it comes to education, so I think it's very cool that you are being open minded to learning/personal styles :).
     
  30. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    I think it is interesting.

    Here is my prediction. For some kids it will be incredible (once they get past the newness of the experiment). For some others, the amount of mental effort allotted to staying stable will take energy away from paying attention.

    Here is why I say what I do.
    Some kids need that constant movement and the stability ball gives that because their muscles are always checking balance. Other students will not be bothered but may not be able to tolerate it all day (they might end up a little more tired at the end of the day). Some that are weaker with sensory or muscle skills will really struggle with this. THEY need the stable chair because their energy does not need to be going toward thinking about muscle control.

    Can't wait to hear the results after a few days then after a few weeks.
     
  31. gebakat

    gebakat Rookie

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    a2z: I agree with your predictions. I suspect that when the novelty does wear off or because of strength issues, some children (2nd graders BTW) will prefer to use a regular chair. And that will be their choice. I already have stadium floor chairs and cushions for the kids and there are some who grab a clipboard and do their work using these. One of the favorite spots is sitting on the floor around the coffee table as a work space. Stability balls will be another choice. We don't spend an awful lot of time sitting at a desk as it is - Right now my only concern is getting used to the color - orange!
     
  32. Ms. I

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    I only work w/ the same kids for 30 min at a time at those kidney-shaped tables. No one really wants to stand, although, once a boy did & I let him.

    What irks me is how when 1 kid wants to do something, suddenly everyone wants to do it. I'll never understand it. I guess they want to get a little break. This is for going to the restroom & getting a drink mainly.
     
  33. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    I have thought about bring a stability ball in for myself but I am pretty sure it would take about 5 minutes before leading to an embarrassing moment for me. There is a lot of research that supports standing while working, the treadmill thing, and stability balls.
     
  34. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Come on, now - don't hate on orange - it didn't do anything to you :).
     
  35. SwOcean Gal

    SwOcean Gal Devotee

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    Oh, I would be very interested in hearing how the stability balls go! Make sure you post and tell us! Would you mind sharing how it goes on Thursday? I cannot wait to hear about it.
    So what shade of orange are they? lol
     
  36. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Did you ever hear the phrase, "Keeping up with the Joneses." ? Well, adults do the same thing as kids just on a grander scale. They see one adult doing something they deem cool at the moment and want to do it or buy it too.
     
  37. LUCHopefulTeach

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    One fifth grade classroom in the district where I live uses stability balls. Its considered a reward and students/parents have to sign an exercise ball contract at the beginning of the year. It works amazing.
     
  38. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I'm sure it would take far less than 5 minutes for me! :lol:
     
  39. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    This would give a whole new meaning to phrases like the following:

    on the ball
    behind the 8-ball
    getting the ball rolling
    dropping the ball

    I could go on, but that's a whole 'nother ball game.
     
  40. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Some of my students stand. I have had a few "pacers" over the years. Sometimes they like to lay on the floor, but my floor stays so NASTY that most don't want to do that.
     
  41. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    And think of the chaos that would ensue when I told my grade 7 and 8 boys to, "sit on your balls".
     

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