Flexible Seating for Focused Learning
A substantially high number of students at Blaine Elementary School face barriers due to diagnosis such as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Emotional Behavioral Disorder (EBD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Autism Spectrum Disorder, and/or cognitive delays. This is a significant issue in education that impedes student’s ability to focus and learn during classroom activities. As the Arts and Humanities teacher, I teach students kindergarten through 8th grade and have a need to provide the best support and accommodations to these students. This year, if awarded the $1,000 through the ARI Learning Innovation Grant, I plan to implement flexible seating to assist students with ADD, ADHD, EBD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and/or intellectual disabilities. Students with these conditions encounter barriers, such as: difficulty with sensory processing, focus and concentration, emotional outbursts, and restless hyperactivity. These barriers can impede students’ ability to learn content, focus and concentrate on provided materials, regulate emotions, and regulate overloaded senses. There are 28 identified students at Blaine Elementary School out of our 172 total enrollment that could benefit from the emotional and physical outlet that flexible seating offers. When the learning environment is student-focused, students are better able to deal with distracting feelings and thoughts and engage with other students more effectively, resulting in higher levels of learning. If awarded the money to purchase flexible seating, students will be taught to channel excess energy, excessive emotions, and restlessness into movement and tactile responses through flexible seating from classroom teachers, aids, and myself through modeling, demonstration, and practice. I would measure these outcomes by comparing incidences of emotional outbursts and inappropriate behaviors from before flexible seating was in use to after it was in use, student interviews to determine student feelings and preferences, and teacher and teacher’s aid interviews of student behavior in other settings. If successful, the techniques students learn in Arts and Humanities to regulate emotional responses and remain focused may transfer to other classes, positively impacting other teachers and the school at large. The Wobble Stools, cushions, and balance doughnut seats selected are cost effective options from schoolspecialty.com, a website that specializes in high-quality seating and accommodations for students with special needs that is made to endure many years of use.