Pilates Balls As Chairs In My Classroom
Due to a generous parent donation, I was able to acquire several child-sized pilates balls a couple of years ago. Students who might benefit from sitting on a pilates ball are given the option of sitting on a traditional chair or a pilates ball. If they choose a pilates ball, I use an inverted 9" frisbee to hold the ball once students stand up so the ball does not roll away.
Several rules are important for safety reasons, including no bouncing and placing the ball on the frisbee when not being sat on. If a student does not follow the rules with reminders, then their ball is removed for a "time out." (Safety takes precedence!)
Here are some links to news articles and research papers that discuss the use of pilates balls in classrooms.
Stability in the Classroom by the Ferbus Falls Daily Journal
A New Way to Sit in the Classroom by Northland's NewsCenter
Bouncers Learn Better by The Fargo Forum
Halifax School Uses Stability Balls to Calm Kids by Abilitations
Sit On It by DesMoines Register
Having a Ball In School by This WeekOnline
Classroom Seating For Children With Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Therapy Balls Versus Chairs.
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of therapy balls as seating on in-seat behavior and legible word productivity of students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Additionally, social validity was assessed to evaluate teacher and student opinions regarding the intervention.
METHOD: A single subject, A-B-A-B interrupted time series design was employed across 3 students (2 males, 1 female) with ADHD. The study was conducted in a 4th grade inclusive classroom during daily language arts. During phases 1 and 3, the 3 participants and all other class members sat on chairs (in-seat on chair); during phases 2 and 4, everyone sat on therapy balls (in-seat on ball). Dependent variables were in-seat behavior and legible word productivity. Data were graphed and visually analyzed for differences between phases.
RESULTS: Results demonstrated increases in in-seat behavior and legible word productivity for the students with ADHD when seated on therapy balls. Social validity findings indicated that generally the teacher and students preferred therapy balls. CONCLUSION: This study provides evidence that use of therapy balls for students with ADHD may facilitate in-seat behavior and legible word productivity.
Schilling DL, Washington K, Billingsley FF, Deitz J.
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org PMID: 14527115 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]