Sunday, January 17, 2016

A Perfect Fitt

I am so excited!  My wonderful administrative team announced they were going to award two $1,000 grants for a class makeover.  I applied and I won!  What did I win?  Only something I have wanted for almost 5 years . . . a class set of Wittfitt Stability balls. There is lots of research to support using stability balls in the classroom; especially for students with attention-related challenges. Click here and here to read more.
There are 3 main reasons for using stability balls and incorporating movement into your classroom:
  1. Movement increases blood flow to the brain, which is better for brain function and learning
  2. Movement helps children "get the wiggles out" which aides their natural need to move.  This actually helps them focus by expending the excess energy they build up throughout the day.
  3. Sitting on a stability ball supports and builds their core muscles. This also helps develop large motor muscles, which support small motor muscles (writing and hand strength).
 Of course, you will need to teach proper sitting techniques.  Students must sit on top of the ball with both feet on the floor.  We also discuss appropriate movement while sitting on the ball.  Our general rule is if your movement is distracting to other, then you need to adjust.

They're here!
Why Wittfitt balls?
These balls have these little (for lack of a better word) teats on the bottom, so the balls stay where you put them.  They can be placed on tables at the end of the day for storage and they won't roll off. When the kids get up from their table, I just remind them to "tuck their balls" and they move them underneath their tables. I was always a stickler for pushing chairs under too.

When you order a class set, they come with a pump, a measuring tape with guidelines for maximum capacity, and an instructional manual.  The manual has lessons for incorporating the balls in class. It also includes guidelines for inflating each ball for each child.

The balls can easily be inflated to just the right height for each child.  I teach third grade, so Lisa suggested the blue balls for my kids. When I first got the balls, I thought "these are going to be too small for my kids".  Not so!   I had them sit on their ball and made sure their hips were slightly above their knees and then let out air or added more air for each child. This is the best position for good posture and back support. It is really important that you inflate each ball for each individual student.  My kids know which ball is theirs because they fit them! I also had to lower my tables.

I have been very pleased.  Not only am I encouraging good posture and developing core strength, but I am giving my students an outlet to get the wiggles out and stay focused!  That's a win-win in my book!


Wow! I can’t believe I have not posted anything this entire school year! I’m not sure what that means. I have decided that I will be retir...