Exercise Balls

Second graders in room 13 are not using chairs. Instead each student sits on an Exercise Ball. Students are encouraged to bounce and roll gently while listening, learning and working. Why?
  • When the body can move freely, the mind is more able to focus on the task at hand
  • Improved posture
  • Increased muscle use as students engage core to balance and stabilize
  • Significantly helps students with any attention difficulties
  • Choice - students can choose between a chair or a ball
  • Fun...rolling objects tend to entice more than those meant to remain still
You can imagine we have some rules involved in the use of these Exercise Balls at school. If students choose to follow these rules, then they get to keep their ball. If they choose to incorrectly use the ball, then they return to using a chair for the rest of the day. Students always have the option to start again with a ball the following day. As we say in class, practice makes better. The rules are simple:
  • gentle bouncing, swaying, or rolling
  • keep feet on the ground
We use Frisbees (upside down) to keep the balls from rolling away when not in use, and at the end of the day when we put our balls on our desks for our custodians. Students keep the Frisbees in their desks while using the balls. 

The Exercise Balls were purchased through a program called donorschoose.org, where I created a project that was funded by interested donors.