Would you rather sit on chairs or balls?
Replacing stationary seats with inflatable bouncers has raised productivity in her fifth-graders at Westtown-Thornbury Elementary School. It makes students better able to focus on lessons while improving their balance and core strength, she said.
"I have more attentive children," Giuliano said. "I'm able to get a lot done with them because they're sitting on yoga balls."
The giant rubber spheres, also called stability balls, come in different sizes, colors and degrees of firmness. By making the sitter work to stay balanced, the balls force muscle engagement and increased blood flow. This leads to more alertness.
Traditional classroom setups are being challenged as teachers nationwide experiment with yoga balls, footrests and standing desks, which give children outlets to fidget without disrupting class.
"It takes away the taboo of wiggling, which most kids do anyway," said Michelle Rowe, of Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia.
Student Kevin Kent, said the ball makes it easier for him to concentrate and keeps his back from getting stiff. Now, he said, sitting in a chair is "weird, because you're all bent up."
"Fifth-graders are so antsy that, for some kids, this is really good for them," says Alliso Slade, principal at the the Namaste Charter School in Chicago, where they are using the balls.
Critical thinking challenge: What are the advantages of balls over chairs? Why aren't all schools using balls now?
- Posted on February 20, 2013