School district adds fidget desks and wobble chairs to classroom - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

School district adds fidget desks and wobble chairs to classrooms

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Math teachers at Mid-Prairie Middle and High Schools are hoping to improve the way students learn by adding flexibility to the classroom.

They're doing this by moving away from traditional desk seating and adding fidget desks, wobble chairs and cloud desks to the classrooms, which are new this school year.

"We thought it would be a good way to allow a little bit more movement in our classes, but in a way that's not super distracting. Get a little energy out, but still stay focused on math," Mid-Prairie Middle School Math Teacher, Elsie Spillman, said.

The fidget desks have a moving rack on them. Students have to stand up to use the desk and the rack lets them sway their feet back and forth. Spillman said there's a high demand in some of her classes for them and, currently, students are on a rotation for when they can use them.

"I like to stand up when I'm working, more than sitting, so I don't get cramps or anything," Mid-Prairie Middle School student, Collin Miller, said.

Mid-Prairie Middle School Principal, Marc Pennington, hopes that, through these new seating options, it will help students feel more relaxed in the classroom and be more attentive.

"Some kids learn best with movement. They get up. They need to move around. They just need to have something moving and this is a way to do that," Pennington said.

He said being only two weeks into the school year, it's too early to see the impact.  But, he says, the students are accepting the new options.

"I'm anxious to see the benefit from our kids, other than just liking it. Is there a learning benefit to it? That's something we're anxious to see. I think if there is, I think it's certainly something we'll continue to grow," he said.

Since being added to the math classrooms, Pennington said departments in other subjects are looking into innovative ways like these to improve their classrooms, too.

The math department was able to buy the new classroom items through a $33,500 grant, given to them by the Washington County Riverboat Foundation.

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