New classroom approach says 'have a seat - or not'

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Ojai Valley News photos by Andra Belknap

San Antonio students (from left) Joselyn Estrada and Madeline DeMauro work together on a math project while sitting on balance balls.

Andra Belknap, Ojai Valley News reporter

Kate Spiva's fourth and fifth grade combination classroom at San Antonio Elementary School is missing something. 


Spiva's classroom is devoid of traditional desks. 

Instead, her students work on a couch, at tables or sit on “balance balls” where they can bounce while they work.

Spiva's classroom is a “passion project” years in the making and informed by research that shows when children's bodies are engaged, cognition increases, she said.

Her classroom also allows for increased collaborative learning opportunities, she said, a large focus of California's Common Core State Standards for students.

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