BY Amy Westburg
West Tisbury School (Martha’s Vineyard)
The funds from this grant would allow me to purchase chairs for my students, especially those with special needs. Currently I have standard hard, metal chairs in my ELA class. Students are constantly fidgeting and complaining about their seats. Some of my students are special needs, ranging Autism to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). I have students with Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD) such as dyslexia and dysgraphia. I have students with anxiety and non-verbal learning disabilities.
All of my students would benefit from new chairs. My students have a hard time sitting still, and many of them, by the end of class, end up on the floor. I have researched ways to help them, and found chairs designed specifically for their problems. These are called “Wobble Chairs”.
Wobble chairs are a simple seat design to allow movement when children are required to sit. The base of the chair is designed to allow movement in 360 degrees, but it’s not too wobbly so it doesn’t tip over. Another benefit is when you stand up, the chair stays in place, unlike therapy balls that will roll away. The chair will allow rocking from side to side, front to back, or anywhere in between.
How will the project be evaluated (e.g. how will you gauge its success)?
Currently our students have a very hard time sitting still. This makes learning difficult. Not being able to stop fidgeting, or ending up rolling on the floor, takes time away from learning. My students are not able to help the fact that they cannot sit still. For these children, their brains have a hard time processing where their body is in space. to compensate, their bodies stay in constant motion to give the brain the feedback to understand where they are. These chairs will allow them to fidget yet still be at the table. The have great potential application within the world of special needs.
For children with low tone, the Wobble Chair requires constant activity from their muscles. This Wobble Chair will not allow students to slump in their seat and be sedentary. The Wobble Chair also promotes proper posture for the back and head. The infinite possibilities of movement allow children to find the best spot for their posture. This will allow them more time to focus on learning.
Benefit to the students and the school
This grant is for seven wobble chairs, which would be shared amongst the entire ELA department (6 teachers) so three grade levels of students will benefit. Students should be able to focus on their work more.
Timeline of Project (when will you do the project, if applicable)
We will use these chairs immediately.