Saturday, June 21, 2014

Yoga Balls



I have a unique idea that I want to share with you today. It is something I have tried in my classroom with positive results. That idea....yoga balls!

My second year teaching I had a severe ADHD student. He was really lovable and likeable but had an extremely hard time focusing. He lived at home with a dad who definitely cared about him but was adamant that he didn't want his son on any medication. He has ADHD and was put on medication as a child. He didn't like what it did to him and didn't want to put his son through that. I respected his position as a parent but was worried that his son would be handicapped by his ADHD.

Then, my school psychologist had a brilliant idea: yoga balls! 
https://ca.shine.yahoo.com/blogs/shine-on/why-teachers-ditching-student-chairs-yoga-balls-194833969.html
 Yoga balls (sometimes called stability balls) were supposed to help my Kaden fidget and wiggle as needed. The slight movement would increase blood flow (as well as strengthen his core) and help him focus better.

I'll admit, I was a little doubtful at first. I thought "This kid is ADHD. He is going to bounce until his head hits the ceiling and pop the ball!". I was, however, pleasantly surprised. We used it as a motivator. Kaden was very excited to get to sit on a ball; he was the only one in class at the time and it was the "cool thing". We set up a few ground rules: no bouncing high, the ball stays on the ground etc. If those rules were broken, we would have to take it away. That was enough motivation for him to be responsible with the ball.

To my surprise (and his dad's I think) it worked! He would move around, bounce, and wiggle to his hearts content. He sat near the back of the room so he wouldn't distract too many other students. He was able to focus and starting turning out better work. I was sold!

A second grade teacher down the hall wrote a grant and got yoga balls for her entire class. There was not one chair in the room. She often commented how much better focused her students were and how she loved letting them move while learning. 






10 comments:

  1. I have been hearing about using stability balls...so glad to read about a first-hand positive experience! I'll definitely look into them for my class!! Thanks so much for the info, Cassie!
    Joy in Las Vegas

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Joy! I really liked them in my class!

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  2. Oh my goodness! Thank you for posting this. I have been thinking about using them for quite sometime. If you don't mind me asking do you know of an affordable place to purchase them?
    Thanks,
    Laura
    TIPS: Teach, Inspire, and Prepare Students

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    Replies
    1. There are a lot of options. I know some teacher that are happy with the $10 ones from Walmart. I have also seen some from WittFitt.com or Gophersport.com .

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  3. I would love to have these in my room. I have seen some on them and how they help. Did you find a place that sells them for a good price? Kristi
    Teaching Little Miracles

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  4. I have also considered using these in my classroom, but wondered how you afforded purchasing for your whole class.

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    Replies
    1. I only did a few students at a time but I the teacher that did them whole class wrote grants from several places including district grants and a local credit union.

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    2. Some places that I know of are Walmart, WittFitt.com, Gophersport.com!

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  5. I have these in my shopping cart at Amazon. I am hoping they will go down in price for Prime Day (tomorrow). Which size ball do you recommend for 3rd graders?

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    Replies
    1. I would say 55 or 65 cm balls would work. You could probably even go a little bit higher. I had a 45 cm ball and it was a little small for 3rd graders.

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