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 Bouncy balls in classrooms 
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I just wanted to know what everyone felt about the idea of having children sit on bouncy balls in classrooms. I can see how it would be a good thing to help them focus but I can also see them just wanting to play on it. I also think that other students would be distracted by it and would want to know why just one student or a few get to do it. As a teacher I feel like I would have a parent conference or at least have the student stay after school to introduce the bouncy ball, let them play on it for alittle bit so when it actually came to classroom time they would understand it was there to help them and not to play with. What does everyone else think?

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Elizabeth Anna Hicks


Thu Apr 02, 2009 9:58 am
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I agree, I think that the bouncy balls could be a great thing, but its the process of getting the students introduced to them and understanding the reasoning for the bouncy balls that i feel like would be hard. Maybe if I had some direction from a teacher who had previously used them, then it would be easier to come at this new idea. Also, how would the parents and administration react to this idea? I mean, for me its a completely new thing. I am a high school education major. Would this work at that level? Are there other alternatives that could do the trick without the distraction? These are all things running through my mind since we discussed this idea.

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Casey Head


Thu Apr 02, 2009 2:02 pm
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I think that the bouncy ball idea sounds good as a theory but maybe not so much into practice. I understand where they are saying it could help the child focus but I know if i was sitting on a bouncy ball during class I would not sit still. I am not just talking about being a kid I mean to this day I think I would be bouncing up and down and distracting my neighbors. But, all kids are different and you can always try it in your classroom. Just ask permission from all the administration and parents first.

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Megan Nicole Hales


Thu Apr 02, 2009 4:46 pm
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I have never thought about using bouncy balls to positivity channel a student’s energy. The teacher that chose to do this should not just allow the male students to sit on the balls. They should also let the female students choose as well. Female students can be just as energetic as the males. I really do not think that sitting on a ball would have helped me when I was in school. Many students associate bouncy balls with free time and PE class. I would probably have bounced the ball around or threw it with some of my friends. I just could not imagine having bouncy balls in the classroom without it being a huge distraction. Though I would really like to see how this idea turned out for someone, I might be surprised.

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Bradley Stephen White


Thu Apr 02, 2009 8:58 pm
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I don't think that sitting on bouncy balls in the classroom would really help the issue of paying attention and sitting still. I think the bouncy ball would be more of a distraction to the student and other students around him/her. I think there are other ways to keep attention but a bouncy ball is just asking for a kid to be bouncing around the class. It would definitely take my focus away from the class.

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Hannah Hempel


Thu Apr 02, 2009 9:35 pm
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I think the bouncy ball would be more of a distraction than it would help. The student would be able to release some of his/her energy, but would it really help the student pay more attention? I also feel that if some students are bouncing on bouncy balls, while the rest of the class is in chairs, it would be distracting for the rest of the class. I know that when I was in school, I didn't like people shaking their feet on the back of my desk, so I would've been distracted by other classmates on a bouncy ball. I think it might work in some classrooms, but I don't think I would use it in my classroom.

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Tina Dellinger


Fri Apr 03, 2009 10:15 am
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I have no clue how the bouncy ball situation might work out. I think it depends on the students and it would be something you would have to try to know. I would probably have a conference with that student and talk to them to see if they think it would be a good idea and explain to them that it is not for play. If I had the money I would have enough bouncy balls for all my students (or some then they take turns) and allow them to play on it for a few minutes. Then I would ask the class if they would like to use them as their chairs. I would have to explain to the class that if they are to act like a chair then they are not for play during class time. I bet all the students would try it but some would give it up after a while or all the fun wore off. I think it could be a distraction also, but I think if you allow all students a chance and no students are singled out in the beginning then it might be worth a try at least. If it doesn't work in the end, it can just be removed. I also think it really depends on the class. It might work one year but maybe not the other.

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Megan Cockrum


Fri Apr 03, 2009 5:41 pm
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I like the bouncy ball idea and I think you could make it work if you made it absolutely clear to your students that if they goof off on the balls and leave their designated area then they will not be allowed to use them anymore. If you enforce that rule, then they are not going to misbehave with them, and if they do then they will lose priviledges. I would have loved to have something like this when I was in school because I always had a really hard time sitting still. I was always jiggling my legs or bouncing up and down and that really distracted me (and the students around me), so I think something like this would have been a tremendous help.

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Joni Russell


Fri Apr 03, 2009 6:56 pm
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The bouncy ball idea is a great one in my opinion. I know a few children at home who have similar adaptations written into their IEP because it has been proven to help those specific children focus and learn. Rhythmic motion can be a very calming thing and even though it seems as though their focus would be on bouncing, it is actually just the stimulation they need to focus on things besides their restless bodies. Also, when my mom taught elementary school, she once had a student who could not sit still in his desk to do his work. He was constantly pushing his chair over, trying to run around the room and simply would not focus on his work. Her solution was to remove the chair and have him stand at his desk. The principal at first argued that this would distract the other students, but she placed him in the back row of the class and allowed him to stand anyways. His focus immediately improved and he was able to do his work like the rest of the class. Sometimes you have to do unusual things to help children learn!

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Whitney Vincel


Sat Apr 04, 2009 11:19 am
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I certainly think it’s worth trying. Of course there’s a chance it could be a disaster, but sometimes I think we underestimate how mature children can be. At first, they may want to experiment a little bit by bouncing too much, but once the general excitement wears off I think they’d be okay. The main problem I foresee, as mentioned, would be the entire class wanting the opportunity to sit on the balls. I’m thinking the only way to prevent that from being a huge obstacle would be to have couple extra balls that could be passed around for other children to alternate using. Either way, I’d certainly like to give it a try if I thought I had a student in my class in desperate need of some help.

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Maggie Carol Hinshaw


Sun Apr 05, 2009 8:01 am
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I'm not sure about this idea. Like a few people have said, I could definitely see the possibility of it being a distraction for all of the students. The student sitting on it may be tempted to bounce all over the room and all of the other students could think it's unfair that they don't get to have one. I feel like it would be better to find another method, like incorporating physical activity into lessons. Energizers are a great way to get some extra energy out. I wouldn't completely right off the bouncy ball idea. I'd be willing to try it. I'm just very skeptical. I almost think that the special pad on the seat like Chuck talked about would be better.

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Sara Cottrell


Sun Apr 05, 2009 6:28 pm
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I think that you would have to be really careful about bouncy balls in a classroom. How would you distribute them? To the students who couldn't concentrate because they were fiddling too much? Then I feel like you're putting them in display. Give them to the whole class? Then you're going to have those trouble-makers who would rather play on them any way they can than pay attention. It might work for older grades but definitely not for younger ones. K-2, maybe even third graders, would be tempted too much to mess around than really do what the ball is meant to help them do.

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Brittany McKelvey


Sun Apr 05, 2009 7:24 pm
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I think the idea of bouncy balls in the classroom is merely a distraction and catastrophe waiting to happen. I could see how allowing one student to use one to enable them to focus, but you have to think about the other students. To my knowledge when one child has something, all the others want it to and it would cause a chain effect. I could see parents calling the school and complaining about the distraction as well as asking the teacher to allow their child to have one too. I believe there are other ways to allow children to focus. You could ask your school counselor, the principal, or the child’s parent for suggestions.

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Christin Jones


Tue Apr 07, 2009 8:29 am
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I agree with Megan, I think in theory that the ball idea seems like a really good idea, but I am not sure how that would exactly play out in the classroom. I think that it would be really hard especially for younger kids to understand why their gets to have one and not them. Or for the child who has no I think that if they are younger it would be harder to control them for the use of it. But what I do think is a really good idea is what Chuck said has daughter uses in class and I would definitely suggest that if it was needed.


Tue Apr 07, 2009 12:13 pm
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In school we always have to remember to always have enough for the whole class with anything like snacks, drinks, pencils, etc. I think since every student would have to have one the room might become a big distraction to any student. But the example Chuck used with his daughter is an example of how it can help students. I would ask someone for suggestions or tips that might work.

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Anna Abernethy


Tue Apr 07, 2009 9:55 pm
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I don't know about this whole bouncy ball idea. In the classroom I've been doing my practicum in this semester I can see them beating each other up and knocking each other out with the ball instead of using it for what it was intended. I can also see the rest of the class getting in an uproar because they don't have one too. I wouldn't use it in my classroom, but then again, if I could see first hand how it works and is beneficial then I might be willing to try it.

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Mary Elizabeth Rice


Tue Apr 28, 2009 10:07 am
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I do believe that the bouncy balls would help the children that really need them but then again it does scare me that it would distract the other children in the classroom because I know that I personally would not need a bouncy ball but I would be paying more attention to the others that were on them than doing the work I should be doing. I feel though like everything is worht a try to help get all children in an atmosphere that they can learn in but I do not think that we should create an atmosphere that would only help a few and hurt more.

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Nicole Gambill Yates


Tue Apr 28, 2009 3:14 pm
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I can see how sitting on a bouncy ball could help some children focus, in theory. Unfortunately, I would like to see it work in actuality before I would put all of my support behind it. I completely understand how some children need something to channel their nervous energy into in order to not be disruptive in the classroom. Heck, I know of some of my fellow colleagues now, in college, who cannot sit still without tapping their foot or shaking his/her leg. Perhaps these people could have benefitted from sitting on a bouncy ball in their early school years. As a music educator, I do not think giving my students a bouncy ball would be the wisest of decisions...my classroom will contain far to expensive of equipment for a child to be potentially bouncing around on. I also would be paranoid that, should a child request to sit on the ball, they would quickly lose focus and be thinking only of staying on or "playing" with the bouncy ball.


Thu Apr 30, 2009 1:47 am
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The bouncy ball in the classroom is a unique idea. I personally would never use it, especially because of me being a band teacher. You can't play the instrument if you are on a bouncy ball. But i just see it distracting the other students too much, and even less work would get done. I am more of a fan of Dr. Turner's idea of letting the student run around. Just let them go run some laps, and come back when they have less energy.

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Charles John Michael


Thu Apr 30, 2009 11:10 am
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You're right CJ...the running laps idea would work much better for a music educator. Especially if it is during marching band season and you are outside rehearsing your show. However, I could also see other ways of allowing them to release energy than bouncing or running. I personally am a big fan of finding something for them to do and work on that would be beneficial to both them and you.


Thu Apr 30, 2009 12:49 pm
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