at Windsor Elementary School in Arlington Heights, Ill.,
including Adam Boesen, 10, are learning this year with
the help of so-called classroom fit stations, including
standing desks, exercise bikes and elliptical machines.
HEIGHTS, Ill. ó For years, students were told to "sit
still and stop fidgeting," but that has changed with the
addition of elliptical machines to classrooms at an elementary
recent morning in Christina Philoís 5th grade classroom, at
Windsor Elementary School, Adam Boesen, 10, hopped aboard, not
during his P.E. class, but while participating in silent
helps me concentrate," said Adam, who kept up a brisk
pace on the elliptical, while engrossed in a book by Louis
got my homework done early the other day," added
classmate Joshua Grzesiak, 10, who said the array of so-called
fit work stations also helps him to stay focused.
Iím on the elliptical, I feel the opposite of distracted ÖIím
more connected with what Iím learning than when Iím just
sitting," Joshua said.
to Windsorís new fit classrooms, where after researching
various educational methods intended to engage students in
active learning, Principal Shelley Fabrizio has encouraged her
staff of kindergarten through 5th grade teachers to allow
students to bike, bounce and even pedal while learning.
all know that kids love to move, so we didnít want to have
our students sitting all day long," said Fabrizio, who
partnered with Assistant Principal Virginia Hiltz to create a
program with standing desks, stationary bike and elliptical
desks and a seemingly Willy Wonka-esque, rainbow-hued stool
called an Ergo chair.
said the collection of roughly $3,635 fit work stations were
rotated throughout the schoolís classrooms last spring to
allow every student the opportunity to experiment with at
least one piece of equipment. Students were then surveyed so
teachers could learn which particular work stations were most
of the pieces were a huge hit, and others werenít as
popular," Hiltz said. "But the bottom line is that
students loved the chance to test them out. Many even said
they were able to concentrate and focus more on academics
while using the equipment, and thatís what we were
survey results showing that the Ergo chairs were a favorite of
a majority of students, officials used funding from the schoolís
PTA to purchase six additional chairs, all of which appeared
to be happily occupied during a recent visit to several
many kids have attention needs, and they all have different
approaches to learning," Hiltz said, adding that students
can choose whether to use a fit workstation or stay seated at
a traditional table or desk.
started out with standing desks, one per classroom,"
Hiltz said, "and the kids and teachers just loved them
Öthe teachers wanted some for themselves. And the program
just morphed from there."
said that when the new fit workstations first arrived in her
classroom, she was not surprised that her students reacted
knew the kids would be excited and wild, and they all ran over
to the elliptical," Philo said. "So I created a
schedule for each piece of equipment that lists all of my
studentsí names, and when everyone has had a turn, it starts
my more active students, being able to stand while they learn
is especially important," Philo said. "Before, they
would be wandering the room and not as focused, but now, these
new desks let them work where they want to work."