February 27, 2009
Fort Collins, Colorado (The Weekly Vice) -- If your student's classroom performance has been looking a little flat lately, a Fort Collins teacher claims to have found the answer - and she has the balls to prove it.
Tiffany Miller, a fourth-grade teacher at Bauder Elementary school in Fort Collins, Colorado has implemented a strange idea that she and her students are raving about. She removed her student's hard plastic chairs and replaced them with stability (exercise) balls. It's a move she says has improved her student's performance.
"We know with brain based research that when you are actively sitting, your brain is more engaged. The other reason is the posture is better, which means that there is more blood flow going to your brain," said Miller.
Miller contends that balancing on the ball helps students stay focused and remain engaged - and come to think of it, she has a point. Better posture leads to more alertness for longer periods of time.
That's teacher speak for saying... Clown around too much and you might just end up kissing the carpet. (I'm beginning to like this idea).
Miller points out, however, that a stability ball allows students to move around, which minimizes restlessness and fidgeting. "I am a huge fan of being able to fidget," said Miller.
Miller's idea is not unique. Stability balls are now marketed for educational purposes and have been implemented in classrooms for several years now. Case studies seem to be showing therapeutic value for back pain patients who find relief using the ball instead of a hard work chair.
Perhaps the most convincing testimonial of a stability ball's merits come from the students themselves.
Students usually like using stability balls so well, teachers are able to use them as an incentive for following classroom rules. If the rules aren't followed, a student may be subjected to the hard, plastic, dorky chair their parents once had to sit on...... Yikes.
The Weekly Vice Opinion:
So there you have it folks. Kids sitting on balls - and it's all the rage. It sounds crazy I know, but I actually like the idea. I want one now.
The Weekly Vice
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