Students find ‘best learning spot’ in alternative seating
Students choose where they want to sit
PRAIRIE DU SAC, Wis. — Walk into teacher Janea Sailing’s second-grade class at Bridges Elementary School and you will notice something different.
While the room has traditional desks, students have the option to sit anywhere in the classroom they’d like to do their work.
Many of the 22 students use mats and lie on the floor to work on a writing assignment, while others sit on a windowsill to do their reading.
“Most of the time the kids know where they are going to learn best, and we talk a lot about that. We talk about, ‘where do you think you’ll learn best?” said Sailing.
A teacher for 10 years, Sailing utilized a reading corner several years ago.
The students responded well to that, and their reading improved.
“And then I decided to do a whole classroom in alternative seating. I got a little bit more confident in it as new research came out for best practices,” said Sailing.
Several studies have been conducted on alternative seating and have shown promising results for some students.
“I like that we can sit anywhere we like, and we don’t have to sit in the same place over and over because it would be kind of boring,” said Sawyer Denu, a student in the class.
Sailing has utilized alternative seating in her classroom for the last two years, and academically her students have excelled.
“I can’t say it is because of the alternative seating, and I can’t say it is not, but I know that it makes them feel good coming to school knowing that they have that control, and they can choose their best learning spot.”
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