My classroom consists of middle-school students who are deaf or hard of hearing or learning disabled. Many have behavior problems, too. My students are below poverty level and many come from single-parent homes. I have great kids in my classroom that are usually eager to learn, have great ideas and contribute a lot to everyone's learning process.
Because my students are below poverty level, they often don't have electricity at their home, food or sometimes even a consistent place to sleep. Bringing school supplies is not a priority to them - getting through the day without without wondering where they'll sleep or getting some food may be their number one job. I like to feel my classroom is a safe, welcoming place where they can forget about their homes for just a little bit and learn to love learning.
With my students' disabilities, their developmental ages and their home situations, having lots of opportunity to move is an important part of their day. Growth plates need to develop and that takes movement, brains need to be stimulated and that takes movement, restlessness from the uncertainty of where they'll be sleeping takes movement to calm. Ball chairs (exercise balls) call provide all the stimulation they need in a classroom-friendly manner. I use one myself at my "teacher desk" and if a student is having a particularly rough or good day, I'll share my chair. Unfortunately, one is not enough to go around!
Your donation will help my students get the socially acceptable kind of large muscle input they need to stay focused and learn. Being able to lightly bounce in chair, roll around a little bit or wiggle will help their brains get that movement that it sometimes needs to stay focused. Think of how many times you've rocked back on your chair, pumped your knee up and down during that boring meeting or wanted to get up and stand instead of listening to the boss talk while seated. Same thing with kids...! I've seen the difference the ball chairs (exercise balls) can make with the kid who cannot sit still and is bothering everyone else and taking away from learning. When they sit on the ball, they instantly are focused. Thank you for your consideration. Any donation toward my proposal will make a valuable difference.
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