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Stadium Seating, Beanbags and Video Game Chairs

I am a person who loves lazy days and relaxation. Even so, I can say with conviction that sitting down and staying still is unnatural and uncomfortable. I know this for a fact because I have tried it many times. I have designed many classrooms over the years and I have always opted to have at least one rug. I love teaching my mini-lessons with students gathered around. I like the feeling of having everyone close so that I can better manage the focus of the class. That being said, sitting on a rug can cause behavioral issues and over the years I have found it intriguing to study the behaviors of students on the rug.

Students often have difficulty staying in their own space when sitting on a rug. After a certain amount of time (it’s different for each person) most students will begin either rocking back and forth or moving into the space of others. Often times, this issue of space becomes a behavioral interference and this can result in a loss of focus for the class. After observing these behaviors time and time again, I thought it would be interesting to spend some time on the rug myself. I was fortunate enough to be able to experiment with this because I have had so many co-teachers in the past. What I found is that it is challenging to stay still on the rug, even for a grown woman. After about ten minutes, my lower back began to feel discomfort and I found myself moving around to get a stretch. I tried sitting in a variety of different positions including “criss-cross applesauce,” amongst the most popular seated position for classrooms I’ve been in. There is no position that is comfortable enough to stay still for prolonged periods of time. After looking at this issue for quite some time, here is a summary of my findings:

Tip 1: Keep your rug time short (no longer than 10 minutes)

Tip 2: If working with older students, bring chairs to your rug

Tip 3: Be flexible – allow students to sit in any comfortable position and to have “stretch time” on the rug in between your teaching

Tip 4: Use special seating to increase focus

Let’s focus on Tip 4. I decided to play around with special seating more recently in my teaching practice. I have found that using seating such as: bean bags, video game chairs and stadium seating improves focus and allows students to be engaged at the rug for longer periods of time. Another fun way to use the special seating is as a reward to boost strong work ethic. For example, I knew a teacher who used a positive reward system called “The Exemplar System.” Students who displayed “Exemplar” behavior would get small rewards to boost intrinsic motivation. One possible reward was to spend independent work time in cozy seating at the rug, rather than at the table with the other students. This reward was popular amongst her students in a middle school setting (which I couldn’t believe!)

Here are some examples of special seating that I have used in classrooms over the years. If you are a parent or family member reading this, you can consider purchasing some sort of cozy seating for at home use. I had a student last year, who loved our video game chairs so much that he had his mother buy one and he did his homework in it every night. It was such a great reward for him!

Stadium Seating[amazon-product image=”http://ws.assoc-amazon.com/widgets/q?_encoding=UTF8&Format=_SL160_&ASIN=B003YNV5LI&MarketPlace=US&ID=AsinImage&WS=1&tag=edg0b-20&ServiceVersion=20070822″ type=”image”]B003YNV5LI[/amazon-product]

 

Beanbags[amazon-product image=”http://ws.assoc-amazon.com/widgets/q?_encoding=UTF8&Format=_SL160_&ASIN=B001T4XTW2&MarketPlace=US&ID=AsinImage&WS=1&tag=edg0b-20&ServiceVersion=20070822″ type=”image”]B001T4XTW2[/amazon-product]

 

 

VideoGameChairs[amazon-product image=”http://ws.assoc-amazon.com/widgets/q?_encoding=UTF8&Format=_SL160_&ASIN=B001T4XUOE&MarketPlace=US&ID=AsinImage&WS=1&tag=edg0b-20&ServiceVersion=20070822″ type=”image”]B001T4XUOE[/amazon-product]

 

Stadium Seating[amazon-product image=”http://ws.assoc-amazon.com/widgets/q?_encoding=UTF8&Format=_SL160_&ASIN=B003399114&MarketPlace=US&ID=AsinImage&WS=1&tag=edg0b-20&ServiceVersion=20070822″ type=”image”]B003399114[/amazon-product] Beanbags[amazon-product image=”http://ws.assoc-amazon.com/widgets/q?_encoding=UTF8&Format=_SL160_&ASIN=B001T4XTUE&MarketPlace=US&ID=AsinImage&WS=1&tag=edg0b-20&ServiceVersion=20070822″ type=”image”]B001T4XTUE[/amazon-product] Video Game Chairs[amazon-product image=”http://ws.assoc-amazon.com/widgets/q?_encoding=UTF8&Format=_SL160_&ASIN=B004SU7OAM&MarketPlace=US&ID=AsinImage&WS=1&tag=edg0b-20&ServiceVersion=20070822″ type=”image”]B004SU7OAM[/amazon-product]

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