Why is flexible seating so tempting and so very scary?
I don't know, but it has taken me two years to really start playing with the concept.
I now have two weighted balance balls, three stools, and two extra office chairs in my room.
Originally, it was just the stools-they spin and are height adjustable.
I got them for $5 each a couple of years ago for students who need movement or height.
They continue to be a hit.
The office chairs are really just detritus.
One was left by a previous co-teacher who elected not to take it with her.
The other was mine, but it squeaked and wasn't very comfortable.
My awesome boyfriend gave me a much nicer one.
The balance balls are new.
Honestly, I want to explore flexible seating more, but I am hesitant.
High school classrooms are small, and crowded, and, well, full of teenagers.
Still, the stools have been super helpful and, personally, I love interactive seating. I fidget.
A couple of weeks ago, I went to WalMart for school supplies.
I wandered over to the sporting goods and outdoors section in search of cheap bungee chairs (you know the folding kind?).
Bungee chairs are comfortable, light weight, and easy to store.
Unfortunately, they run $30 and up--too rich for my blood.
I was about to give up and leave disappointed when I noticed a price cut sign.
Weighted balance balls reduced to about $10 for a smaller one and $15 for the bigger one.
I had to have one. I'm short, so I got the smaller one.
Blowing it up was an interesting endeavor.
But once it was ready to use, I sat on it for hours while I planned.
In fact, this week, I have used it more than the students.
Maybe this is partly due to the newness of the year and will change as they become more comfortable.
Maybe it is because I am a loony toon who grins like a fool when I sit on it.
Plus there is the possibility I might fall, which would, of course, be hysterical.
I revisited WalMart another night for more composition books...
And the balance balls were still on sale.
Obviously, I bought another one.
This time I got the big one.
In the morning, an early bird was recruited to blow it up with the hand pump.
The motion of that particular device is, how shall we say, easily misconstrued.
He smiled and we both ignored that elephant in the room.
As a reward, he got dibs to sit on it during first hour.
I think having two is kind of magic.
For the first time this week, students actively asked for and used the balance balls and the stools.
The taller boys definitely appreciate the taller balance ball.
It can be a little distracting to others when they bounce continuously.
But it keeps them in one place and much more focused.
The weight in the bottom (about two pounds of sand, I think) is killer.
Unlike regular balance balls, these things stay put.
That means they are more stable to sit on and harder to use as a toy.
For the time being, I will let the students work out the logistics of who gets to sit on what alternative chair.
Usually, first come, first served works adequately.
Today, a couple of kids made an agreement to switch half way through the class.
I mean, sure, why not? If they can manage it without bothering anyone, who I am to disagree?
First hour, a couple of boys tried to use them as drums...which distracts me.
That dog from Up and I share attention deficit genetics, I think.
As long as they are quiet about it, I should probably just get over it.
No one else seems to mind.
So, weighted balance balls might be my new favorite classroom thing.
No one who knows me would every guess that anything that could be considered exercise equipment, could be a good thing to me.