Sunday, February 1, 2015

Exercise Bands in the Classroom


Do you have wiggly students?
Do you have students that refuse to stay seated?
Do you have students that can't stop talking? 
Do you have students that kinda sorta drive you CRAZY???
Let's be real - we all do. I have been searching for years on ways to get my little wigglers to stay seated and focused. 

My first year I inherited 8 of these babies: 
They were great.... Until I noticed my little wigglers had turned into little bouncers. All day. Bouncing. It drove me as crazy as their wiggling! And EVERYONE wanted one! Students would fake being a wiggler just so they could sit on a giant bouncy ball!! UGH! That year I ended up switching districts and had to give up my bouncy balls. BOO-BYE. Don't miss 'em. 

I was at square one again, and needed a new plan. So I researched and found what I refer to as "wiggle seats". 
Thanks to Donors Choose, I got six of these wiggle seats (filled with foam beads) that my students can sit on and wiggle to their hearts content. LOVE THEM. They're quiet, the kids don't argue over them, they're comfortable, my wigglers stay seated... They are pretty much perfect.... Pretty much.... You see, I'm down to 4 after only one year of use because SOME SCISSOR HAPPY KIDS CUT THEM. UGH. I guess they wanted to see what was inside.... Anyway, these wiggle seats are too expensive for my teacher budget to replace on my own, so I started looking for yet another option.

That's when exercise bands entered my life! 
I had to do some physical therapy for my back a few years ago, and one of the items my Physical Therapist gave me was this giant elastic band for resistance training.... 
Follow me on this thinking journey: 
Giant Rubber bands...
Tied onto the front legs of student desks....
Kids have a place to rest their feet and wiggle their legs...
Quiet classroom...
Wiggly legs eventually tire because of the resistance the bands provide....
Still, seated classroom...  
Do you hear angels singing yet?? You should. And you should SO try these out!! Just look at these happy legs!!!! 

This is one of the cheapest items I've found to help my wigglers and these bands are STURDY. I have yet to replace a broken band. I've found them on Amazon, and also at school specialty stores. Just look for "resistance bands", "exercise bands" or "physical therapy bands". 

Now for real talk: At first, they're a novelty. The kids will bounce their legs like crazy on them. It's loud. It's annoying.... BUT, then the resistance slows them down. Legs get tired. Novelty over and the bands are used for repositioning/ getting comfortable/ and the occasional wiggle. And your classroom is focused and quiet! 

As teachers, we MUST think of ways to reach all our students, and provide outlets for all of them. Including our wigglers/movers/shakers. And this is a fantastic way to go. I hope you try these out in your own classroom!! 


2 comments:

  1. Resistance Bands can be ever used liked this was really not known to me. Wonderful article, keep on the good work.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I found that the resistance bands were noisy also, but then another teacher friend of mine taught me a trick. Get a pool noodle, cut a thin slit down the middle, wrap resistance band around chair, slip resistance band into slit. That's it! No noise!

    ReplyDelete