Assignment: Education - Alternative Seating

Adjustable Stand-Up Desks in Use at Northwoods International School

LA CROSSE, Wis. -- Bouncing feet are not an uncommon sight in a classroom. Some students simply have a lot of energy. Others do their best thinking while they move. They're called Kinesthetic learners.   

"I like to do my work sitting and standing," said Nathenial Allen, Northwoods International School first grader.

Students like Nathenial have increased focus and actually learn best through movement.

Northwoods International School Special Education Teacher Heather Stern knows this first hand.

"The students that I work with have the need to move a lot more than a typical student," said Stern.

So, Stern bought ten adjustable standing desks with money she received from the La Crosse Public Education Foundation to help improve student learning.


"For the students that get up and move a lot, they don't have to go pace around the classroom," said Stern. "They can sit and stand. The can stand and wiggle in their seat and not have to be in the classroom disrupting everybody else."

"If my feet get bored, I swing my feet," said Allen.

And even students who aren't a apart of the special education program benefit from being able to move while learning.

"It helps you focus," said Jacob Nelson, Northwoods International School third grader.

And research shows that Jacob isn't the only student benefitting from a stand up desk.

"Some schools that have gone to all standing desks have increased their state testing scores," said Stern. "The writing produced has increased. Increased attention. The ability to just maintain, for my students, for them to stay in the classroom longer because they had that movement instead of having to come down to my room to take a break. They've been able to sit at their desk and have that break."

Which means more academic time for all students.

"It's not a behavior issue," said Stern. "It's just a way to get movement out. It's not because they're disrupting the classroom or they're a student that people may call naughty. They're just a kid that moves, and a lot of kids need movement."

Especially the Kinesthetic learner.

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