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My goal is to provide each and every student in my classroom a wide range of non traditional seating. The goal is to have multiple flexible seating options which can help increase student engagement and overall academic achievement.

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Fun Flexible Seating in First!

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School:
Frontier Elementary School 
Subject:
Language Arts 
Teacher:
Leah Ahearn 
Students Impacted:
18 
Grade:
Date:
July 22, 2019

Investors

Thank you to the following investors for funding this grant.

 

Jeff DiPolito - $50.00

Michael DiPolito - $100.00

Shannon - $50.00

Janet Ahearn - $200.00

Melanie Lewandowski - $40.00

Leah Ahearn - $373.59

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Impact to My Classroom

# of Students Impacted: 18

Implementing flexible seating in my 1st grade classroom has been one of the best changes I have made in my practice, as an educator, to meet my students' needs. Starting from the very beginning, at our Meet & Greet (a day we open our classrooms for our families to meet their new teacher), you could see the excitement on their faces as they walked around the room and saw very different furniture than what they are used to. This excitement continued throughout the entire school year. I saw the impact flexible seating had with engagement right away, but it also helped with identifying a little bit more information regarding each student's individual needs. Meaning, I quickly learned which students preferred some movement while working, or students who preferred to stand or who needed to be a bit more grounded and on the floor with a wobble cushion. I feel knowing these things, as an educator, is just as important as knowing academic levels, grade level standards and the latest and greatest reading strategies. Each student comes to me with varying social, emotional and academic needs. It is my job to not only teach those grade level standards but know what each student needs in those three areas and do my best to fulfill them. Flexible seating may seem like a small change in the grand scheme of things, but I didn't really comprehend its impact until everyone's world changed due to COVID-19. March 13th was the last day I spent with my students in our classroom. That Friday we left our class together thinking we were headed into our Spring Break and that we would return relaxed and ready to finish the school year out strong! As everyone knows that was not the case, instead we began our adventure of online digital learning. We all had to quickly adapt and create classrooms in our homes. My brain was flooded with different ideas I could do to help ease this process and still meet those needs of my students. I remember in the first week, I received a comment from one my students who stated that he missed his friends, his teacher, his classroom but he missed his wobble cushion the most because it helped him. It was then that I realized the true impact flexible seating had on my students. Teachers commonly say that it takes a village to support and teach students. Every year I learn more and more what it takes do this and this year I have learned that flexible seating will always have a place in my practice. Thank you for supporting this grant and joining our village this year! 

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Original Grant Overview

Goal

My goal is to provide each and every student in my classroom a wide range of non traditional seating. The goal is to have multiple flexible seating options which can help increase student engagement and overall academic achievement.  

 

What will be done with my students

This grant would allow for my students to have the option between stability yoga balls, wobbly stools, wobbly cushions for either their chair or floor, and chair bands that go around the legs of a traditional chair. This choice of seating is something I would like to permanently implement on day one of the new 2019-2020 school year so that students can start becoming familiar with each option and find the one or ones that are right for them. Flexible seating has shown to be beneficial in a number of ways but in a first grade classroom where the students are required to master a lot of standards this type of seating can help the students get some movement in throughout their day which in turn helps them to focus and stay engaged on their tasks.
 

 

Benefits to my students

I am hopeful that this project will help foster a community of learners who take pride in their work and have ownership inside our classroom and school. Most often students are told what to do and how to do it in every part of their day. Flexible seating is a way to bring some ownership to the student. Together we will establish ground rules for the different types of seating and what you can do with each to ensure that they are used appropriately but after that the students will have the flexibility to choose their own spot each day. A spot that they feel like they will do their best work and be able to show off their learning. When you allow students some freedom in the classroom, I tend to see the best results because they feel like they have voice and are a partner in the process. This project would benefit my class of typically 18 to 20 students and a handful of other teachers that push into my classroom for extra support for students.  

 

Describe the Students

A typical first grade class at my school is very diverse. Most of our students come from families with low socioeconomic status. I have students that are ESE, as well as, ELLs. My class usually has a wide range of academic ability. Most need a lot of scaffolding, support and one -on-one or small group intervention to master each standard.  

 

Budget Narrative

Above is the total for the flexible seating options I would like to implement whole class. These items are sustainable from year to year.  

 

Items

# Item Cost
1 Wobble stools x4 $44.99 $179.96
2 stability yoga ball chair x4 $64.99 $259.96
3 wobble cushions X 8 $19.99 $159.92
4 chair bands 1 pack $27.99 $27.99
5 Poly and Bark Trattoria kids stool (4 pack) x2 $185.76
  Total: $813.59

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