Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Calling all Teachers - How important is seating in your classroom?

Seating is extremely important within the classroom. Posture is the foundational skill for developing fine motor skills and learning to write. Children need proper positioning at their desk or table to engage adequately in tabletop activities such as coloring, drawing, cutting, and writing. A stable trunk allows for greater execution of fine motor tasks and promotes adequate arm control. 

The ideal seating situation and proper desk posture for students is as follows:

1. Student should be sitting in their chair in a 90-90-90 position: 90-degree angles at hips, knees, and ankles. 
2. Feet should be flat on the floor with thighs parallel to the ground.
3. Hips should be bent, with weight on the child’s bottom instead of the lower back.
4. Make sure that the seat of the chair is not too large for the student. They should be able to sit back in the chair, and the space between the back of the student's knee and the chair should be about 2" (2 finger width)
5.  Elbows should rest on table, with table height no more than 1-2” above the bent elbows

Most desks and tables within the classroom can be adjusted. There should also be various size chairs in your classroom, a colleagues class, or in a storage room in the school. Ask your custodian for assistance with the desks/tables. Your OT should also be able to work with you to make sure that each student is positioned properly at their work station. Remember, for your students to execute small, fine motor movements, they need a stable base at their trunk and pelvis!

If you are a parent, I highly recommend the Stokke Tripp Trapp Chair for proper seating as your child grows. You can use this as a high chair as soon as your child is old enough to sit up and continue to use it as your child begins to engage in fun, tabletop activities!

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