More teachers are using flexible, or flex, seating inside their classrooms. It allows students to learn while sitting on the floor, a yoga ball, or even on a crate at school.
For the second year in a row Julie Hartung has used flex seating in her classroom at Shadow Hills Elementary School in Boise.
"Some kids are still learning," said Hartung.
It can take some getting used to because although there are some traditional desks, there are several other options for her second-graders.
Community supplies are also used in flex seating. Students bring items for the classroom to share.
"Now if they have something that is very special they each have a drawer to put those things in," explained Hartung.
Hartung says she was a fan of the approach after studying up on it.
"Kids needs to move, they need to be active, they retain information better, they learn better," said Hartung. "Research shows sitting in a hard seat for six hours a day is not good for them and it's more distracting because they start noticing how uncomfortable they are."
Although it's right for her, she admits flex seating may not be a great fit for everyone.
"I really feel it has to be a philosophy that the teacher believes in," said Hartung.
It also will most likely cost a teacher quite a bit of their own money to transform an entire classroom. Hartung brought in stools, yoga balls, crates with pads, floor seats, stability disks and supplied a reading area with comfy chairs.
"It was worth it," said Hartung.
Best of all, she says, her kids are excited about it. So far Hartung says parents have reacted well to flex seating, which is a good thing, because she plans on sticking with it.
"I can't imagine for myself going back to traditional seating," said Hartung.
Out of the 24 teachers at Shadow Hills Elementary School, two use flex seating and several others are using variations of it by bringing in a few yoga balls or standing desks.