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Flexible Seating For Students In Los Alamos Schools

on September 13, 2017 - 4:50am

Meagon Fiengo’s 6th grade classroom. Courtesy/LAPS

LAPS News:

One of the Los Alamos Public Schools improvements for this school year is expanding the number and variety of flexible seating options in elementary schools. These options are designed to improve student focus and increase learning. Choice-based seating can even change the classroom into a student-driven learning environment that fosters collaboration and independence.

Some of these innovative ideas emerged when 5th-grade teacher Nicole McGrane led a series of Lunch Box discussions for Barranca teachers. During one of these sessions, teacher Meagon Fiengo shared articles about flexible seating. Teachers considered the options and adopted creative ideas that have resulted in more flexible seating for LAPS students.

Samantha Waidler’s 5th grade classroom. Courtesy/LAPS

Fifth grade teacher Samantha Waidler, and 3rd-grade teacher Annemarie Brown also were very interested in trying flexible seating in their classrooms.

Among many LAPS teachers, Fiengo, Waidler, and Brown have transformed their classrooms to incorporate flexible seating with couches, loveseats, clips boards, rugs, pillows, and large stuffed animals.

Annemarie Brown’s 3rd grade classroom. Courtesy/LAPS

Each furniture arrangement is grade-level appropriate. Student reactions have been positive.

At Mountain Elementary School, Bernadette’s Ziomek’s fifth grade class received fidget chairs.

Fifth grade students sit in ‘fidget chairs’. Courtesy/LAPS

Fidget chairs are smaller, lighter that a typical 4-legged stationary chair, and the seat is balanced on a pivoting pillar that moves with the student.

“The kids have loved them,” Ziomek said. “The ‘fidgitivity’ of the group has decreased, and the larger movements have stopped.”

 The students can choose between a fidget chair and a traditional chair.

 Ziomek said: “The new chairs help the students concentrate and build their core strength.