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Classrooms transformed to help Gowanda Middle School students pay attention

You won't find fifth- and sixth-graders at Gowanda Middle School sitting in neat rows of desks this year.

Students now have the option of working at standing desks, bounce ball tables, Japanese pillow floor seating, comfort couch reading areas, as well as tabletops they can actually write on in double-sized classrooms.

The school's Curriculum Director Paula Troutman and Special Education Director Janine Jalal directed teacher teams that came up with the untraditional classroom environments. The goal for teachers was to benefit students who may struggle with paying attention or need a variety of better health aligned movements and physical arrangements in their daily learning experience.

The posture-fitting alternatives have been tried elsewhere, such as Grand Island's Charlotte Sidway Elementary School.

Fidgeting is OK in this Grand Island classroom


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