Third graders talk about flexible seating options at School Committee

WESTFIELD – At Monday’s School Committee meeting, Abner Gibbs third grade teacher Mrs. Laframboise talked about the Universal Design for Learning, and how she has used its principles and ideas to transform her class of 26 students.

Third graders from Abner Gibbs watch a video from their class after demonstrating flexible seating options to the School Committee on Monday.

Laframboise said the Universal Design for Learning looks at multiple means of student learning, and multiple means of participation, action and expression. She said in her small classroom, 26 desks would not have fit. Instead, she uses the flexible seating proposed in Universal Design for Learning. To demonstrate, she called students from her class to give examples to the School Committee. Paired up, the students showed the committee the yoga stability balls, wobble cushions, wiggle stools and floor mats, clipboards and lap desks they use in the classroom.

Other seating was explained on testimonials from their classmates on Google Classroom, where students talked about and videotaped their friends using standing tables and high top tables. The videos, which were made on the Chromebook laptops available to all the students in the class, ended with the words, “Providing Choice. Everybody’s a teacher. Everybody’s a learner.”

Abner Gibbs Principal Stacy Burgess said the goal of Universal Design for Learning, which they have adopted throughout their school, is to provide a more inclusive environment for learning.

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