Some wiggle room for Powers kids

Do you remember a teacher ever reprimanding you for unsafely leaning back in a traditional chair? Now the best of both worlds is possible and safe.

Second-graders in Meg Riegler’s classroom at Powers Elementary School are moving around more than they used to.

That’s because 25 Hokki stools, or “wiggle chairs,” were recently donated by John Bennet, a Westlake pediatrician. Riegler says the new seats have been quite beneficial to students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and even those who just feel a bit restless.

“The more courses I take about younger students, ADHD, and different learning styles, it became evident something was needed other than a standard chair,” she said. “Some teachers take tables out completely and have different styles of seats in their classroom. I didn’t necessarily want that. I wanted to find something that would let them move around but also stay focused.”

“The chairs arrived just in time for open house and I wouldn’t trade them for anything,” she said.

The stools cost more than $100 each and give students free rein to wiggle, wobble, and lean on a rounded base.

Riegler said since all students now move around the classroom, it removes some pressure from those living with ADHD because it makes them feel less singled out.

Other materials for students with tactile sensitivity issues have also been brought in by the teacher.

“Kids in general just need to move,” she said. “It helps their bodies and it helps their brain focus on the lesson at hand. Witch tactile issues, it’s usually just a matter of touching something or using your hands in order to calm down. There’s a weighted lap pad and toys with different textures to touch and feel.”

These kinds of materials represent a broader trend in education to encourage multitasking and move away from always learning in straight rows of desks and chairs, said Riegler.

“The class came in and embraced it right away,” she said. “No one said they wanted a regular chair. No one has fallen off of them. They can get that calming feeling through movement without losing focus. Some kids like to rock when they read.”

Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.

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Second-graders Sophia Wasik, Sam Tollett, and Danny Susa put their new Hokki stools to use at Powers Elementary School. Sophia Wasik, Sam Tollett, and Danny Susa put their new Hokki stools to use at Powers Elementary School.

Courtesy photo

By Jonathan Delozier