Using Exercise Balls as Chairs in the Classroom

 For about a month now, I have allowed students to bring in their own exercise ball or stability ball to use it as a chair in the classroom. I was ‘inspired’ to try this strategy after our family fitness night. After watching some of the students in my class balancing on BOSU equipment and seeing the focus that they were displaying, I thought that there might be something here. I have to admit that I remember reading about it somewhere a few years ago when I didn’t have my own classroom, but didn’t give it much though. After using the stability balls for about one month these are the things that I have noticed.

1. Clear expectations and guidelines need to be established before used – The rules in my classroom are 1. No Big Bounces 2. You cannot touch a ball that doesn’t belong to you. These two rules cover everything that I have come across and the rules apply to students who use my classroom for other activities.

2. Balls don’t work for all kids – I have a two groups of students who were not successful on balls. The first group, just didn’t find them comfortable. This could be because the balls were not the correct size or inflated properly, or they personally just didn’t find it comfortable. The other group of students, found it distracting and are better able to focus when sitting on a stable surface.

There is a lot of research out there about stability balls in the classroom. One website that I found was
http://www.wittfitt.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3&Itemid=7

If you are using them, I would love to hear if you have found the same things or other suggestions!

If you aren’t using them, it is worth trying!

Marcie

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