Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Sitting on a ball at school?

FROM CNN: Some fifth-grade students in New Jersey are having a ball learning --- by sitting on one. This is how we're used to seeing classrooms operate? Students, sitting in chairs, listening to their teacher? But in Glen Ridge, what they're used to, is about to change. "I think it's good, so let's try sitting on it."

This is the new "chair" for these 5th graders at Ridgewood Avenue school - a stability ball. Shannon Lekas introduced them to her class, after hearing about them from a former co-worker.
"I liked the educational component that came with it, having them really learn about why the ball really benefits them."

The stability balls were developed by the Wit Fit company to help promote concentration and fitness in the classroom. They have special legs on them to help students learn better balance... and proper posture. Charlie Bodell told me, when he sat down in a chair for our interview, he realized the stability balls work.

"I'm kind of slouching right now, cause i'm just used to doing that, but on a stability ball, it's uncomfortable to slouch so you sit up more straight, like this."

"We're supposed to sit in a 90 degree angle and make sure we can do stuff with the ball, like reach for things without falling off."

"That's been really great for them to learn that they can move and they can be active learners and the ball allows for that."

Students re-enforce what they've learned with computer games and by writing letters to wit fit about their progress and their principal couldn't be happier.

"The kids are excited. They're learning and if you can put those 2 things together, it's a wonderful experience for everyone."

So has anyone seen the episode of the Office when Jim punctures Dwight's stability ball? Too funny! Anyway, if this became popular at work I would totally use it, but I probably wouldn't be the Dwight at the office and be the lone person sitting on an exercise ball all day. I would end up with my stapler in jello for sure.

I would vote for it-at least part of the day- for my kids. Childhood obesity is an epidemic right now. A stability ball can't hurt!

-NewsAnchorMom Jen


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