Sunday, March 4, 2012

Let's Get Physical!

Happy Sunday! Today I ate wings and they were delicious. But that is neither here nor there.

A few days ago, I read a post on Schoolgirl Style (which, by the way, has the most beautiful classroom decorating ideas!) and immediately noticed the exercise balls used instead of regular chairs!

Here is the picture I pinned, which got 39 repins! I linked the picture back to the original blogger, New Adventures in First Grade.

Also here's an article from the Chicago Tribune about some classrooms in the suburbs who have used them in gen ed classrooms.My next door BTF told me that they had exercise balls inside little chairs with wheels and stuff in the autism room of one of the schools she used to sub at.

So, my question is ... what do you think about this? Yay? Nay? Have you used them or do you know someone who has?


  1. I haven't used them before, but I have seen other classrooms that do (online only, not in real life). I like lots of seating options, so it would be cool maybe to have a set of 4 at a table that the kids could take turns on maybe?

  2. I know a teacher who uses them and she loves them! I just bought 2 to try out in my room.

    Lesson plans & Lattes

  3. One of the classrooms that I observed in (inclusion 2nd/3rd grade) used them, and the kids and teachers loved them! I asked my OT about using them in my room, and there are some downsides. They're pretty easy to get hurt on, so she suggested using a cardboard box as a stabilizing base if you don't have enough money to buy the fancy chair bases.

  4. I love this idea! with so many of our children being ADHD and recess time getting smaller this is great for little wiggly bodies! I think schools should provide them and their bases!

    Mrs Poland
    Think, Wonder, & Teach

  5. I'm thinking of doing alternative seating next year. I would like to use exercise balls in addition to other seating options {table legs removed so the kids can sit on the floor, cushions, raised desks for standing, etc.} My principal is 100 percent for the change and you can read more about it over at Second Grade Paradise she has research, letters for parents, etc. explaining this type of seating. You can read more about it here:

    If you email her with questions she's really willing to help.

    Crisscross Applesauce in First Grade

  6. Wow. I don't know what to think. I can see benefits. But I can also see ENORMOUS issues... I guess, like any other classroom structure, it takes training and expectations. Could go well.

    Buzzing with Ms. B

  7. A teacher at the middle school next door has a few. She presents them as alternative seating for students who want it. I think she collected money from parents to buy them, but I am vague on the details.
    An Open Door

  8. The school I was at last year got a grant for 50 something of the balls in different sizes. I was able to get 2 last year and at my new school I have one. They are GREAT for my wiggly kiddos who have a hard time sitting still. You have to give them limits and expectations though. Otherwise they'd bounce right out the door if they could.

    Kinder Kraziness

  9. I think it is a great idea, if you can find the money for the base and ball... but i also see a problem with some of my boys who would love to throw them or roll on them, etc... Thy do have so many benefits, because we expect them to sit for so long and the balls do help correct posture as well... Keep us posted if you do use them!!!


  10. I received 20 (10 small for primary and 10 large for upper elementary) for my ESL classroom last year through Donorschoose. I started out with all students using them. It worked out fine, but for about half of them, the balls were way more of a distraction then helpful. I still use them this year, but I pick the students who will benefit from them. Some students ALWAYS use them, benchmarks and state tests included. Some student only need them on certain days. For those that need them, I see a dramatic difference, even in test scores. Before the balls, I would give my rolling chair to students to accomplish the same thing. But I think the exercise balls are more effective. I use tables, so I find we have more space for them as well.

    Let me know if you have any more questions! I would recommend them for students that are movers and shakers and can handle that responsibility.


  11. Hey, that's me! Thanks for the shout out :) I posted on the research and structure I use for movement in my classroom if anyone wants it.

    An answer to few questions posted:
    -I have only have one student toss a ball in the last 3 1/2 years. He was moving it and clearly not thinking straight :)
    -We spend about 1/2 hour on the first day developing safety rules for the ball chairs. If they are acting unsafe, they lose the ball chair for the morning/sfternoon (only 1/2 the day).
    -They are VERY safe. Special ed departments have been using them for years.
    -We refer to them as ball chairs. No one kicks, punches, bounces, or throws traditional chairs, so.....
    -I have had 3 accidentally pop in almost 4 years (sharp pencils and absent-minded kids).
    -I do not use a base, just a frisbee to put them on the tables at night. They roll around at times, but usually are not in the way.
    -I obtained them through a grant from our special education department (specialized training for ASD).

    Feel free to contact me with any other questions!
    New Adventures in First Grade

  12. Hi! I am your newest follower. I loved this post. We use these at our school for students who need that extra opportunity for movement while learning. We also use yoga bands around the bottom of our chairs to give those little feet the ability to move in their chairs. I recently posted on my blog about my school's "Get Ready to Learn" obstacle course. Hope you can visit soon! Here is the link:

    Candi : )


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