Some students and teachers on the first floor of Patrick M. Villano School were greeted with renovated classroom space this year.
“I love how open my classroom feels. There is so much space for my students to spread out, and there are so many choices in seating. My students are very lucky to have the opportunity to move around the room and vary their seating,” Elisabeth Hill, a fifth-grade teacher explained. “For example, we have a cushioned bench, cushioned chairs, and stools, in addition to the traditional four-legged chair.”
“I like the new chairs because they help me focus more and listen more,” Joanne Jacob, a fifth-grade student, explained. “The biggest difference is probably the new flooring and chairs. The new furniture is really fun and it still helps students learn.”
Jacob is speaking about certain chairs that rock to provide movement. Hill conducted some ressearch before rolling out a flexible seating plan.
“I had to figure out how I would manage the flexible seating as well as some other organizational issues, but by consulting with my Villano colleagues and my students, we continue to adapt and make changes as needed, Hill explained.
The idea behind flexible seating is to give students some wiggle room. That wiggle room is supposed to help them concentrate while in the classroom.
“I don’t think that they [the chairs] are distracting because when I rock on the chairs it helps me focus more than normal chairs,” Jacob explained.
Each student has his or her own cubby for personal supplies inside the classroom, and this is Jacob’s favorite part of the new room.
“It feels great because when I need something I can always ask Mrs. Hill, and I can get whatever I need from my cubby space,” Jacob added.
Cindy Doran, Kim Biggs, Elyse Vitale, and Christina Knaack also have newsly renovated classrooms.
“I’ve been teaching in Villano for a long time, so it is very exciting to be working in such a beautiful newly designed classroom,” Hill added. “I feel fortunate to have one of the new classrooms as my own this year. As a matter of fact, the white cabinets in my classroom are making even more eager to paint my kitchen cabinets at home!”