Bouncing down the road to learning

By KRISTIN DELEHANTY

Special to the Express

LONG LAKE - The kindergarten, first and second grade classrooms at Long Lake Central School have gone chairless.

With funding support from the Long Lake Parent-Teacher-Student Organization, each grade level teacher has purchased enough stability balls with holding rings to serve as chairs for every student in their classrooms.

Why balls instead of chairs? Classrooms all across America are switching their traditional chairs for stability ball seating. Recent research confirms several advantages to using stability balls in the classroom.

Findings include improvements in attention, overall physical fitness and handwriting.

As educational demands increase, rigorous standards require more concentration and deeper thinking of younger learners. Students in grades K-2 are now facing these new demands with a learning tool that might just help them focus better and stay on task a little longer.

With this being such a different concept, one might imagine chaos in a room full of ball chairs. Surprisingly, with a little direction from teachers and clear expectations, students are proving to be responsible learners and abiding by the "ball rules."

Students responded with the following when asked what they think of their new seating.

Griffin Farr: "They are softer than the hard chairs that we had before. I like bouncing while I work."

Brock Fleishman: "I thought they would be hard to sit on but they're not."

Pailin Hample: "It helps me think."

Livia Meade: "I love it! It's bouncy and it's big. It is better than a chair."