Although we originally posted this in March 2009, we thought that the first day of school warranted a re-post….
Sixth graders in Minnesota may possibly be setting a new benchmark for classroom design and furniture. Solely by word of mouth, districts between North Carolina and California area already following suit.
Students in Ms. Brown’s 6th grade class at Marine Elementary are experimenting with adjustable workstations that will allow them to either stand or sit while they work. These desks also come with swinging footrests and adjustable stools, making the switch even easier. They were developed by Ms. Brown and a local ergonomic furniture manufacturer after Ms. Brown noticed the small fidgeting that, when accommodated for, improved their concentration.
In an article found here in NYTimes.com, the author states “Teachers in Minnesota and Wisconsin say they know from experience that the desks help give children the flexibility they need to expend energy and, at the same time, focus better on their work rather than focusing on how to keep still.” Its just common sense, right? We commend Ms. Brown and her innovative thinking outside the box to find a better solution to improve the optimization of her learning environment for her students.
Speaking of innovation thinking, a short browsing of the internet led me to these revolutionary backpacks called the BackTpack (www.backtpack.com). They redistribute the weight to the sides of the student instead of all on the back. There are a lot of supporting comments and claims on the internet and my initial thoughts are they seem to be very beneficial.
What are your thoughts on the new backpack? And what about the adjustable desk? Have you ever tried either of them?