Flexible Classroom Realized
Crystal Lake teacher’s wish for flexible classroom seating becomes reality thanks to grant, parent support.
Teacher Kerri Tilton’s vision to create a flexible first grade classroom at Husmann Elementary in Crystal Lake has come to fruition.
Thanks to a grant from the Meemic Foundation and generous donations from parents, her classroom has been transformed into a “deskless classroom” or “flexible learning classroom.” The alternative classroom seating provides different ways for students to sit or stand in the classroom to find comfort and engage in learning.
“It is difficult for six-year-olds to sit in regular classroom chairs,” Tilton explained. “Providing a variety of seating choices diminishes sensory and attention needs in the classroom.”
What’s more, she said, alternative seating promotes trustworthiness and responsibility as it allows students to make choices about where and how they sit.
Seating options range from using a wobble seat or ball chair at a traditional desk or table to using clipboards or lap trays on the floor. The grant money Tilton received from Meemic in the amount of $482.24 was specifically for the purchase of these types of seats. Both provide stability and flexibility, and allow a wide range of movement, which can help students who are having trouble with focus, Tilton said.
Other items include camp chairs, bean bag chairs, scoop seats, bookshelves, benches and even laundry baskets, thanks to donations by Husmann parents.
As a result of her classroom transformation, Tilton said she expects to see students more focused and needing fewer reminders to stay on task, which can positively affect work completion and assessment scores – ultimately leading to improvements in student performance and achievement.