As you will notice, my classroom looks different from the typical classrooms in the building. I have removed the chairs from our tables and have provided the students with alternative seating. This was made possible through a Donorschoose.org grant that I wrote and it was funded by many generous donors. You may have heard your child talking about the seats! I have raised one table and removed the chairs so that the students who like to stand to work have the ability to do so without leaning over. I have added a low table, so that students can sit on their knees or pillow and work on the floor. I have two tables that are furnished with Hokki Stools (pronounced Hockey) and stability balls to help wiggle and learn. There are still regular chairs for those students who prefer them.
I made this change for several reasons. After working in kindergarten for many years I have found that the typical chair is difficult for them to sit on without falling off or getting stuck between the back rest and the seat. Young children are made to move, be active and “wiggle”. Kindergarten students are still learning to control their gross and fine motor skills and find it more comfortable and have better control when standing or the freedom from sitting on their bottoms. The stools and balls help build core body strength that will help their gross motor skills.
Think about how you learn best! I know I get some of my most creative ideas or best work done from my favorite chair or when rocking in a rocking chair, rather than sitting in a hard seat where my feet can barely touch the floor. Children are the same way! Part of my educational philosophy has always been to provide my students with an environment where they were safe emotionally, physically and were secure enough to take risks when learning or trying new things. It is my hope that this environment becomes more comfortable for them and more conducive to kindergarten student learning. My dream is to expand the flexible seating with yoga mats for tummy workers (students that prefer to write while lying on their tummy – which helps their fine motor strength), sit spots for easy turn and talks when discussing new ideas or concepts and soft seats.
Each day I strive to be the best teacher that I can be because your children deserve it. I look forward to seeing them grow and learn to reach their full potential.