Thursday, November 05, 2015

"I Need to Move"

From Upworthy, a beautiful and moving piece about kids who are different (because of their brains, not their personality.)   Maybe we need more of these stand-up desk classrooms.  There's even a movement, Stand Up Kids.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great link, Melissa -- thanks. What we need is rooms (and teachers) that accommodate all kinds of learning styles -- the whole goal is to remove or minimize barriers to learning. For "itchy feet" kids, that might mean a standing desk (or exercise balls to sit on, they helped one of my sensory disordered kids -- as did chewing gum -- or something else to chew on). For a kid with low muscle tone, it might require a regular desk (or even an ability to sit in an upholstered chair part of the day). For kids who cannot concentrate if they have to maintain eye contact, it means allowing them to avert their eyes so they can actually free up "brain band width" to listen to what is being said, and formulate a response (I had one of these too). For kids distracted by any movement, it might mean carrels with sides to block visual distractions -- and/or headphones to block out extraneous noise.

I still grow teary with gratitude over the teachers my kids had who were willing to truly see them, to truly listen to what they needed, and to make accommodations (none of which cost anything -- except the exercise ball and the weighted vest -- both of which I supplied) to make their classrooms as learning-friendly as possible.

AnotherSPEDParent

Anonymous said...

My child's class has Wiggle Seats (sensory chair cushions) for every child who wants one and bins clearly labeled fidget toys. I like that these tools are available to every child so there is no stigma to using them.

West Seattle

Anonymous said...

Great ideas! My kinetic child was allowed to sit on an exercise ball one year (we got the kind with the weighted bottom so it wouldn't roll away). It helped a lot. Then the next teacher banned them from the class and said we would have to have an IEP to use one. I hope one day all teachers will learn to accommodate kids who learn better with movement.

BT

Anonymous said...

My child's teacher has exercise balls but if you wiggle in them she takes it away as punishment. Kinda defeats the purpose.

2boysclub

Anonymous said...

My child has been labeled as having a 'behavioral problem' because he wiggles and has a hard time sitting still. He has a wiggle wedge but just needs to move. They are hoping to create a standing desk for the wiggly children. I find it strange anyone would expect 5 year olds or even 45 year olds to sit all day long :)

Anonymous said...

I am always amused by medical studies that claim that some behavior or other increases the risk of death. Seems like the risk of death is 100%, and nothing is going to change that.

easily entertained

Anonymous said...

My child's third grade classroom has a four person "stand up" desk that any student can migrate to to do work standing up. They can also work at their desk, on the floor, where ever they feel comfortable and productive to output. Some of the 2nd and 4th grade classrooms have "wiggle" (or balance) stools for seats. Some of the wiggles stools are used at computer stations, some are for individual students.

Additionally, after a massive furniture screw up via our SPS furniture person, the first grade classrooms had to go without chairs for several weeks. The positive outcome of the Case of the Missing Chairs: teachers noticed interesting behavior improvements for all kids, especially "wigglers." The teachers lowered the tables and the kids "sit" on the floor/small rugs/or pillows. It's a subject of immense interest for school tours, "I noticed your first grade classrooms don't have chairs..."

As an adult who has worked at sitting jobs and frequently would pick up a manila envelope and just walk around the building, go get coffee, etc. to get a little break, I love that our school is responsive and adaptive to children and their need to move. When we adjust our "expectations" for little children and treat them and their needs respectfully (and look at our own preferences and behaviors) -- it's quite amazing how some slight adjustments improve things.

Signed,

(Happy) Mom of Wigglers
Queen Anne Elementary