active sitting

Making It Work: Active Sitting

In my school we are encouraged to offer flexible seating options for students to meet individual needs. Music educators often have dynamic and flexible classrooms to accommodate the many learners who we have the privilege to serve. I am always looking for affordable options to meet the needs of the students in my care. The ButtOn chair is an interesting option to consider for students and teachers alike. This solution also offers opportunities for cross-curricular connections with the maker-spaces in your school or district. Please share alternative seating options that have worked for you and your students in the comments below, so we can all “Make it Work!”

active sitting

ButtOn chairs help kids integrate movement and creativity in the classroom. It is an active sitting chair that allows and encourages kids to be active when seated. Originally intended as a flexible seating option for any classroom, our team at Teaching With Orff recognized the particular value of integrating the ButtOn chair in an Orff-inspired classroom.

The ButtOn chair is freely distributed as a digital file which can be downloaded at:  Using some plywood, a tennis ball and bungee cord, a ButtOn chair can be made for about seven dollars! Students at schools with CNC routers and/or woodworking shops can make Button chairs as an applied science project. There are two download options: a file for a CNC router and a file using regular wood shop tools.

See Dr. Turner Osler’s TedTalk featuring the ButtOn sitting

The ButtOn Chair is a social mission of QOR360.

LeslieAnne Bird

LeslieAnne Bird is a music and movement educator at University Schools in Shaker, Ohio. She teaches general music and choir to fifth through seventh grade young men and is an adjunct Professor at the University of Akron. She has previously taught in North Olmsted & Cleveland Ohio as well as in Prince George’s County, Maryland. LeslieAnne is a national presenter. She has served as vice president and membership chair for the Greater Cleveland Orff Chapter and is currently serving as the content curator for the Teaching With Orff community. In addition, she is the owner and CEO of Three Little Birds Music Education Services LLC where she offers teacher training, coaching and musical experiences for children and adults. She earned Orff Certification from Baldwin Wallace University in 2014, and has completed Music Learning Theory General Music Level One, Level One World Music Drumming training, Level One Google Certification and has earned the Ohio Master Teacher designation.

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  1. Jim Olsen on February 27, 2020 at 1:34 pm

    Wow LeslieAnne! What an awesome and informative article. Thank you for doing this.
    It just occurred to me that the heading on our home page is “A movement movement”. Sort of fits with Orff!

  2. Kelly on February 27, 2020 at 2:53 pm

    Since all my students sit on the floor I have found Howda Hug chairs to be a great option for flexible seating. It allows them to still sit of the floor but also allows them to rock and gives my sensory kids a more secure feeling. Downside is they are not cheap but worth the cost for me.

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