A fellow Sunset Hills teacher and I came up with a way to start this year off with a fun and exciting change to benefit our students and I just had to share.
My friend gathered some research and we found a funding source.
A quick synopsis of the research indicates increased focus and attention in students, as well as stronger core muscles. Anecdotally, my 5th grade students really seem to enjoy the freedom of movement. Even my adult learners (National Board Candidates) who spend one afternoon a month in my classroom loved trying them out.
We believe in brain-based instruction at Sunset Hills, so after a discussion and approval from our principal, we were ready. Well, we were ready after my hubby blew up a set of balls for each of our classrooms.
We set a general set of rules – basically respecting your ball or losing the privilege. Parents and students agreed to the rules and signed that they would replace the ball if they misused it.
My friend completed a close reading of a research article with her 6th graders.
We “rolled” out the balls one team at a time so we could closely watch individuals and make sure rules were followed. After each team of desks had a chance to try them out, we were ready for a ball per student. We’ve both kept chairs for the students to use anytime they wish to. I have a “Zero Warnings” policy in my classroom…if I don’t see both feet on the floor or anything against the rules, the student is in a chair for the rest of the day.
It has been a huge success!
Have you ever considered alternate seating in your classroom?