Get Up, Stand Up

by Robert Pondiscio
September 22nd, 2008

Here’s an idea that will appeal to every teacher who has had students who can’t sit still (read: every teacher):  Stand-up desks

“As part of a small but growing movement in northern Wisconsin and Minnesota that many teachers say is bound to gain popularity elsewhere, several schools are experimenting with their physical learning environments by incorporating stand-up workstations in the classroom, or, in one school, stability balls instead of traditional school desk chairs,” the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

Kids who are habitually fidgety or who suffer from attention disorders appear to show the most improvement, teachers tell the paper.  Richard Whitmire predicts a rush on orders for the desks.


  1. I think 8th grade algebra is a great idea for all those kids who are ready for it – meaning that they have MASTERED all of the prerequisite skills. Unfortunately, most of the kids have not and it is because math is often taught so poorly. In other words, the whole k-7 math curriculum needs to be revamped. Some kids will be able to master it early and start algebra in 6th or 7th grade.

    Comment by momof4 — September 23, 2008 @ 9:10 am

  2. I have read about the stability balls in an ATPE magazine. It would make sense since there are students who are unable to stay still. It does provide a great opportunity for students to work out while doing their studies since across america, children obesity is an issue. With opportunity comes responsibility. Students are to know that they are meant to sit on rather then to through it across the room or bounce on it to where it may burst. I think it is a great idea. It is combining fitness with learning. It is also said that the more students excerise, the better their cognitve think is. What better way to do this?

    Comment by Jennifer Osborne — September 25, 2008 @ 5:11 pm

  3. Stand up desks? Stablility balls instead of chairs? What great ideas for a classroom setting. Children are expected to sit a long time each day. I think it is a great idea to allow students to stand up or move alittle without the fear of getting reprimanded. Ultimately, student learning is the outcome I am wanting to achieve. It doesn’t matter if students are standing, sitting, or moving as long as they are thinking! A teacher across they hall from me used stability balls instead of chairs for some of her students. At first, I thought, “She will regret those!” After a few weeks, I wanted a couple in my room. They really help those students who need to move. I had to set some guidelines, however, so they were not being misused.

    Comment by Rebecca — September 29, 2008 @ 1:03 am

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