When it comes to setting up the classroom, teachers and administrators have many things to consider. Remember the old days of going to school and sitting at a wooden desk that was uncomfortable and had probably seen better days? It used to be that was the only option for a student—to sit in something that wasn’t designed for comfort and didn’t promote learner engagement. These days, classrooms don’t have to be quite so drab and cold. Chairs like Virco rocking chairs, folding chairs and ergonomic school chairs with keyboard table are quite popular choices these days.
With the advent of more active learning styles, the classroom has become a place where students want to feel secure and comfortable while they’re engaged in high-level lessons. So how do you make that happen? Where do you start with student comfort? Begin by looking at the type of classroom chairs available in the room.
In the primary classroom, some teachers have done away with desks and used only tables. Some have even gone so far as to do away with the chairs and replace them with exercise balls that help young students get the wiggles out. Others provide chairs, but also offer the option of sitting on the floor.
Foster academic success is important but achieving that success starts with setting up a comfortable space for student learning. Flexible seating is all the rage right now in education. The idea is that all students learn differently, and therefore, how they learn looks different. This includes where and on what a student may sit.
When selecting chairs for your classroom, think about the student’s comfort and how long they will be sitting there. For many, it will be the majority of their day. Consider the type of lessons you primarily teach. Are your students going to be up and engaging with others or will they need to sit and work quietly? And what about color? Certain colors are great for creating a calm and luxurious environment. Some induce a feeling of excitement.
While choosing a chair with a back, make sure it’s designed with student comfort in mind. Not just an ergonomic design helps in maintaining a right sitting posture but is essential in improving child’s handwriting and accelerating reading speed too.
It should provide support, but not hurt the lumber. You can pick either wooden chairs or plastic backed chairs depending on the needs of the students and what kind of durability is required.
Another thing you should keep in mind the age of the child using the chair. Primary students may have trouble moving heavy wooden chairs as opposed to the lighter weight plastic ones. The height of the students will also come into play when determining what type of classroom chair to provide. Smaller kids need to be able to put their feet on their floor just like older kids do. Be sure the size of chair is appropriate for your student’s development age.
Interested in having chairs that can swivel or slide quickly from location to location? Instead of a traditional chair, pick a stool. With three legs instead of four, stools can easily slide underneath a table or a desk allowing for more space in the room. This is especially handy for older students who need to move about the room for collaborative groups.