WASHINGTON — When one walks into Emily Dills’ second grade classroom at Lena Dunn Elementary School, one’s head will be bobbing. The bobbing is not your head, but watching the children go up and down while sitting on yoga balls.
But something one won’t find is a sleeping, tired child. In fact, the classroom was energetic and alive when interviewed.
The students in the classroom have been sitting on the balls for a few months and they like them a lot better than regular desk chairs. One student even named hers.
“I named her Ada,” she declared.
Like many of our children, the rest of the class started naming their chairs as well. The idea for the ball chairs came with Dills, who brought them with her to Lena Dunn. Like teachers in Indianapolis in recent stories, she read about the idea and the benefits for younger students.
“I looked up some YouTube videos and read some more articles and thought it would be a great thing to try,” Dills said.
When Dills gives some reasons on why the balls are better than chairs, it makes sense for children.
“Kids move, and they wiggle. And they should be able to wiggle but in a controlled way,” Dills said. “I read articles about how it engages muscles that stimulates the brain and makes them sit up straight.”
When the school year started, the students were in regular chairs and learned how to use them correctly, like not tipping them. Then, the students learned a set of expectations for using the bouncy chairs. Otherwise, they would become toys.
“We keep sharp things away from the balls so we don’t pop them,” Kyanna Turner said.
But the children have taken to them. When asked, they even said their attention span is better. They work harder and learn better posture. They even say themselves they do better in the classroom.