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:
- Movement increases blood flow to the brain, which is better for brain function and learning
- 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.
- 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).
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.
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!