The Little Things

The small pink stool you see in the photo is used by one of my students (let’s call him Gregory)  in lieu of a chair. I noticed early in the year that he had difficulty sitting still for any reason. The stool changed everything.

“Hey Gregory, I notice you’re always jiggling around and moving in your chair. Wanna try kneeling on this stool instead?”

“Ya sure, Mr. Lee … OHMIGOD! I LOVE IT!”

I will cause a million knowing heads to nod if I describe this 13-year-old: has a loud voice, is a reluctant reader/writer, is always ‘on the go’, and would possibly shrivel up and die if he couldn’t participate in competitive sports.

But this little pink stool and this rugged, masculine boy have found a match in one another. On the stool, he sits calmly and stays focused.

One of my favourite parts of this job is uncovering the little things that sometimes make a huge difference.



  1. I love the idea. It’s one of those small parts of differentiated instruction that people seem to miss.

    I also love the visual. It’s part of what makes this blog so compelling.

  2. So simple, yet so effective! Just today, in fact I was trying to figure out a solution to the problem several of my boys have of balancing on the two back legs of their chairs. They do this every day (and have even fallen a few times), and no matter how many times (or in different ways) I ask them to stop, they keep on doing it. Perhaps I’ll try a stool… 🙂

  3. Sometimes I wonder what might happen if students were to provide their own workspace customizations. Relatedly, why did they never have to demonstrate that sitting at a desk was the best way to learn, before every classroom in North America adopted chrome, plastic and wood as the normal learning space.

  4. Great idea Royan. One year I had a colleague bring in about 12 large exercise balls for some of his fidgety students to sit on while at their desks. It worked well and prevented crashes from students rocking back on their chairs. It was pretty humourous to walk by at the end of the day and see all the giant purple balls piled up against the wall. It looked as though the Fruit of the Loom grapes had exploded. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Loved this post. I went to a library conference this fall and took a spin in these awesome chairs. They were the most comfortable kid-friendly chairs ever; $65-100. Suddenly, I realized that there was nothing wrong with the kids but everything wrong with the chairs in school. When I returned I shared the problem of wrong chairs with my students and apologized for complaining about keeping their chair on the floor. Told them that they still did not want to tip it over, but now understood that it’s the chair. Vendor was RDS in Canton, NC.

  6. Thats a nice way of keeping the kids still in a chair. Wow! Never thought of it. Inclusive to that a comfortable chair would do.

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