Get on the ball already

There are all sorts of new ways to let kids wiggle while they learn. But glance in the window of an elementary school classroom, and you may just see students wobbling behind their desks on stability balls. Seems these brightly colored inflatable balls aren't just a Pilates accoutrement after all. According to some teachers, stability balls actually increase student achievement by letting kids move (or bounce, as the case may be) while they learn. "I call it actively sitting," explained teacher Tiffany Miller. "The whole theory with the brain is that when your body's engaged, your brain's engaged." The kids are big fans, too; ten-year-old James Howell likes them because he can "get the wiggles out." While research from the February edition of the Chronicle of Kinesiology and Physical Education in Higher Education backs up the wiggle-room theory, too, it remains to be seen whether this trend will really catch on--or roll away.

"Teachers Ditching Class Chairs for Stability Balls," Kristen Wyatt, Associated Press, March 2, 2009

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