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Ms. Watson from Loudon TN is requesting Other through DonorsChoose, the #1 classroom funding site for teachers.

Balancing the Brain with Bouncy Balls

My students need balance ball seats for their desks/computers to help focus their fidgeting bodies, burn calories and improve their overall physical and mental health.

  • $465 goal

Hooray! This project is fully funded

Hooray! This project is fully funded

My Students

"It is exercise alone that supports the spirits, and keeps the mind in vigor." ~Marcus Tullius Cicero. Whenever one is learning something new, it can be extremely stressful. I find that my students fidget in many ways, and most of the time they don't even realize they are moving!

My students are 6-8 grade English Language Learners(ELL) .

They are also from low income families, and that can provide stress in school as well as other areas of their lives. My students spend a lot of time in seats reading, talking, completing assignments, working in groups or researching on computers. I try to make my classroom inviting and different from other classrooms. The change in environment can stimulate their brains toward learning English and refresh their perspective. I want to make sitting activities more successful for their minds while also strengthening their bodies and reducing stress. How can I do that? I can add exercise balls to my classroom. "Indications are that the tiny movements kids make while balancing [on the balls] stimulate their brains and help them focus", says Dr. John Ratey, a Harvard University professor. Brain stimulation leads to stronger connections which lead to greater mastery and retention of content. Movement helps the brain focus!

My Project

My ELL students want to learn English, but at times are distracted by their own and other's stressful, fidgety reactions to lessons. I want to provide these exercise balls so when they are working on desk related activities, projects in small groups, or researching at the computer, they will be able to subconsciously move their bodies while their minds are focusing on the task. According to James Roland, "When students sit on stability balls, both sides of their brains are engaged in keeping their bodies centered on the balls. And when the brain is stimulated, it's more focused on learning. Not only is the brain better suited to processing new information, young minds are also better able to concentrate on exams, note-taking, class discussions, and other aspects of classroom learning." As a teacher, I am up moving about my classroom while my students sit. Balance balls are a compromise that allows for work to be completed while also engaging the brain! I would love to sit on one too!

I try to make my classroom different from the regular ed.

classes so the students can have different stimuli to support the learning of English. I use a lot of color to entice the brain to focus, as well. These tools can refresh the brain. I also focus on positives in my room. So, instead of trying to constantly stop their need for movement, I hope the balls will channel their energy in a positive way, allowing them to focus on their work and reach their full potential as English learners!

Read More
Ms. Watson
Grades 6-8
More than half of students from low‑income households

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7 donors7 donors have given to this project.

This project will reach 23 students.

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Where Your Donation Goes

Materials Cost Quantity Total
Gaiam Total Body Balance Ball Kit (65cm) • Amazon $19.99 10 $199.90
Gaiam Total Body Balance Ball Kit (75cm) • Amazon $19.99 4 $79.96
Gaiam Total Body Balance Ball Kit (55cm) • Amazon $19.99 4 $79.96

Materials cost


Vendor shipping charges


State sales tax


3rd party payment processing fee


Fulfillment labor & materials


Total project cost


Suggested donation to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


Total project goal


How we calculate what's needed

Total project goal


6 Donors


Donations toward project cost


Donations to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


match offer


Match offer toward project cost


Match offer to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


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Project Activity

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