Jan 24, 2011 8:10 PM by David Ortiviz

School encourages students to wiggle in seats

A lot of teachers want students to sit still during class, but one Southern Colorado school has thrown out that philosophy. They're encouraging students to wiggle and move and they believe it's improving learning.

"I love it," said Noah Nesit a first grader. At the bottom of their bottoms is something comfy and wiggly. "Feels like I'm floating on a cloud," said Nesit.

"That was the first reaction--this is fun, because they can move," Holly Paulman, a kindergarten teacher.

Students have padding for their chairs. They sit on green plastic cushions, filled with air, about the size of a frisbee. "Then can bounce a little bit in the seat, they can rock side to side," said Paulman.

It's part of a unique learning concept at The McClelland School in Pueblo, where they've also added fitness balls to classrooms. "Active seating is what it's called," said Paulman.

The school says the mission behind active seating is to keep students focused, by keeping their blood pumping. "(It) gives the benefit of increased circulation, which then gives the benefit of increased brain activity, which then obviously helps with concentration and retention of knowledge," said Paulman.

Teachers say active seating has been especially helpful with students who can't stay still. "A lot of students who are being diagnosed with ADD and ADHD need to move," said Paulman.

They don't have studies to back up their claims, but they've used them for about two months in kindergarten, first and second grades. Bottom line--they've seen improvements. "Ya, I've seen great results, I've seen happier children," said Paulman. Kids bouncing with enthusiasm, because they don't have to sit still anymore.



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