Teacher helps students focus with nontraditional seating

An Elkhart second grade teacher was awarded a $2,500 grant this spring, which she used to buy bouncy balls, hokey chairs, and wobble seats for her students.

Second grade student Mark Dunkel says he prefers the new seats over traditional hard-backed chairs.

"I don't have to sit on boring chairs because chairs are boring and they don't wobble," he said.

That's the mindset of the entire second grade classroom at Trinity Lutheran where teachers are thinking outside the box to help their students succeed.

Jennifer Laubsch, the second grade teacher, says she applied for grant after grant in order to try to find a way to pay for non-traditional classroom supplies.

"This class is very active class so I wanted to have something to help motivate them during the day and help them be able to get the wiggles out and not be uncomfortable," Laubsch said.

Principal Sandy Price said Laubsch's classroom has turned into an example for the rest of the school.

"You like to look at things that are innovative for classrooms and best for kids and Ms. Laubsch did some research and found out about using stability balls for the classroom and that would give kids a chance to move a little bit but be more attentive in the long run," Price said.

The new chairs have been a benefit in the classroom, not a distraction. The second graders who are ready to move onto third grade are sad to leave their "non-boring" chairs behind.
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