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    Stability Balls

    Mrs. Andreas’ First Grade Classroom

    This is my sixth year using the stability balls as chairs in my classroom.  After five years of teaching I found this fun and effective way to teach my students.  Most of you are saying “What? An exercise ball in the classroom….”  Why would I make this move? What are the benefits?

    Why?

    Every year I have a hand full of students who exhibit the need to constantly be moving.  Several years ago I noticed that this need of constant movement had increased to half of the class.  These students range from fidgeting in their desk, leaning in their chair, out of their seat, asking to get up (restroom,tissue, etc), and on the floor.  These students are also unfocused which limits their learning and productivity.

    Benefits?

    Studies and classroom teachers are saying:

    ·        The small movements stimulate their brains, which helps them focus.

    ·        Movement helps children "get the wiggles out" which aides their natural need to move.  This helps them focus by expending the excess energy they build up throughout the day.

    ·        The majority of students who have used them prefer the balls over traditional chairs.

    ·        Teachers and students who have used exercise balls report an enhanced ability to concentrate

    ·        Sitting up straight allows the blood flow to move to the brain more easily, which isbetter for the brain function.

    ·        Students are getting more work done and staying more focused because the ball gives themjust enough movement to satisfy their need to move.

    Questions you may have?

    * Will my child have to sit on the ball? (No, if your child would like to sit in a chair at anytime he or she may do so!)

    * What if my child falls off the ball? (The balls are no higher then the chairs we have,which are very low to the ground!)

    Here are the rules:

            Rules
     
    (Students wil lbe given the rules and understand them completely. We will spend several days going over the rules and practicing them.)

     

    If you have any questions in regards to the use of stability balls please contact me and I will be happy to share with you my research!