NYTimes profiles weird Minn. classroom of standing children


In yet another recent NYTimes piece about Minnesotans doing weird things, the national newspaper of record descended on an elementary school in Marine on St. Croix to find a classroom of students learning while standing up!

Their conclusion: Perhaps furniture choice in classrooms is just as important as instruction.

More from the NY Times:

On one recent morning, while 11-year-old Nick Raboin had his eye on his math problems, Ms. Brown was noticing that he preferred to shift his weight from one foot to the other as he figured out his fractions. She also knew that his classmate Roxy Cotter liked to stand more than sit. And Brett Leick is inclined to lean on a high stool and swing his right foot under a desk that is near chest level. Helps with concentration, he and Ms. Brown say.

The children in Ms. Brown's class, and in some others at Marine Elementary School and additional schools nearby, are using a type of adjustable-height school desk, allowing pupils to stand while they work, that Ms. Brown designed with the help of a local ergonomic furniture company two years ago. The stand-up desk's popularity with children and teachers spread by word of mouth from this small town to schools in Wisconsin, across the St. Croix River. Now orders for the desks are being filled for districts from North Carolina to California.

Yes, it's a classroom of wiggling children and the teachers say it's working. Instead of focusing on staying still, the students can get some of their extra energy out by moving around at their desk while they work. The desks come with swinging footrests and adjustable stools so they can sit or stand however they want.

The NY Times report isn't their first shot at news coverage. The classroom has been flooded with local and national media for some time now. Check out their list of videos and links here.

Would you have done better in school if you didn't have to sit still in a little wooden desk? Or is a sea of fidgeting children just too distracting?