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Soft-Seating As A Tool For Movement In Learning Environments


It’s no secret different learning styles affect how different students behave in the classroom. Some prefer sticking to the textbook while others test their luck in the lab. Some can’t focus unless they’re seated quietly while others can’t resist the urge to move. Though it may seem like this fidgeting is due to a lack of focus, it can actually be beneficial when embraced as an alternative learning style rather than treated as a distraction.


“Fidget tools” are different objects that are used to fulfill students’ sensory needs for movement and touch. They provide a way for students to meet these needs in an intentional and controlled way; instead of punishing them for moving, teachers can provide their students with ways to use this movement to their advantage. This in turn can lead to more positive behavioral outcomes such as increased alertness (Stalvey, S. & Brasell, H., 2006).


Caleb Sibert, our regional sales director in the East, shared his experience in the classroom:

“I formally was a teacher for 11 years, and I always had students that wanted to move around

and grab things.”


Adaptable spaces in the classroom are key to better learning environments, as they can be transformed depending on what is needed at different times. Flexible seating plays a large part in the creation of these spaces.


Pieces like our ROK Ottoman are the perfect example of what adaptable seating can offer an

educational space; because of the way that it rocks, it acts as a “fidget tool” for students to

move without allowing these movements to become a distraction to their peers.


Final thoughts from our regional director, Caleb?

“If you have some of those students in your classroom that have the wiggles and need to move around a little bit, this seat is perfect for that.”


It’s time to start creating adaptable spaces for different learning styles. Let’s start a

conversation about your needs today!

References: Stalvey, S. & Brasell, H., (2006). Using Stress Balls to Focus the Attention of

Sixth-Grade Learners. The Journal of At-Risk Issues, Volume 2, p 7-15. Retrieved from:

https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ853381.pdf

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