Classrooms across North Texas are trading in “traditional seating” for seats that keep kids moving.
In the past, hyperactivity has been a problem in the classroom. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 6.4 million children between 4-17 years of age have an attention disorder that can make it hard to focus.
“What we know now [that we didn’t know before] with ADHD (Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder), is that there are different types of learners. There are kids that need complete quiet and focus in order to do homework and learn. But there are other kids that need to be moving while they are learning,” said Children Health’s Sue Schell who is the Vice President and Clinical Director of Behavioral Health. “Kids with ADHD need more stimulation to focus. Some may fidget, and may have to get up and walk around. They just need activity. That helps part of the their brain that is focused on working memory that is able to be alert."
Classrooms in both Arlington ISD and Dallas ISD are testing out the alternative seating. Both districts have seen positive results.
At Little Elementary School in AISD, first graders have several types of seating.
“As long as they do their work, and focus, I’m ok with it,” said Heather Bush who teaches first grade. “It’s just the way they are programmed, and their brains are wired. Some kids like them, and others would prefer traditional seating. However the kids thrive, I’m on board.”
Her 6-and 7-year-olds bounce around or wiggle from side to side on “wiggle chairs.”
In Dallas at Mount Auburn Elementary School, one of the second grade classrooms has more than 10 types of seating.
Each “wobble” or wiggle chair costs $70.00. Some schools are provided with a grant or donated funds to buy them.