Unique classroom seats are helping kids learn

Posted at 11:00 PM, Mar 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-01 01:00:40-04

Treasure valley teachers have a whole new approach to reading, writing and arithmetic, and it has nothing to do with curriculum. 

These innovative educators are helping their students to move to success.

You would be forgiven for thinking these rooms were a gym, but they are in fact classrooms.

No assigned seats because some kids don't even sit, they stand on elliptical to learn, or bounce on yoga balls, or fidget with spooner boards.

Tracy Poff, a teacher in the West Ada School District, teaches in a unique classroom built on the premise of active bodies, active minds. 

Hopefully if their minds are active and their bodies are active the research states they are going to retain more information if their bodies are moving at the same time." Tracy said. 
Ms. Poff's transformed her room into flexible seating after spending her summer researching how to reach "at risk" kids. 

After a pitch to the principal for cash Ms. Poff now has one of the most popular classes at the West Ada Alternative High School.  

In this first year, the reviews are only positive. 

It's not just older students who are benefiting from unique seating arrangements. 
At Barbara Morgan stem academy an analytical approach even extends to their chairs. 

Stephanie Bates, who is also a teacher, discovered wobbling works.

"I like to move and stretch my legs cause if my legs are not stretched I feel like all cramped." Said second grader Joshua Gray.
Mrs. Bates finds by allowing children to choose their space, sometimes even sitting on the floor, or standing while learning they are more focused.  
Both teachers agree having an unconventional classroom has not only increased student engagement, but made their work environment better as well.