I am a huge fan of Donors Choose. I have now had two projects funded through this organization and am trying to figure out what I should go for next!!! First, I raised money for two mini iPads to use in my classroom. The best thing about Donors Choose is that the items are MINE! They aren’t a grant from the district thus requiring me to return the items when I leave the school or district. Should I choose to leave my campus or district, the iPads go with me…in fact, I had my dad engrave my name on the back. 🙂
The second project I have gotten funded is a classroom set of yoga balls. Yup, yoga balls! If you’re thinking I am crazy for giving my 20 bubbly, active, crazy friends a ball to sit on…you are probably correct!
As mentioned in my previous post, I have a group of very active kiddos this year. I mean VERY active. If they aren’t fighting with each other, they are up walking around. I have heard about how good yoga balls can be as seats for kids because it gives them the chance to move around and engage their body while sitting. I borrowed a ball for a day from a coworker and I was hooked! Later that week I decided to submit another project to Donors Choose.
Within a month 26 yoga balls had arrived at my school and were ready to be used! I couldn’t believe how quickly the money was raised and how quickly they arrived.
I started by blowing up 6 yoga balls (actually, the Coaches blew them up for me) and rotating them around the room throughout the day. I gave them to some of my most active friends and it has worked wonders!!! I think some of my other kiddos were bummed that they didn’t get to use the yoga balls as frequently and their pouty faces guilted me into having the remaining balls blown up. I batted my eyelashes at the coaches (and maybe brought them some food) and the rest were blown up within 3 hours. Our school seriously has THE BEST coaches. I think they partially take pity on me for the challenges I have faced this year, but nonetheless, they are awesome and are always willing to help me out!
The best part about the yoga balls was that they arrived in time for us to use them for the STAAR test. During the math test I had one little boy who was sitting in a chair with his head in his hand and hadn’t been working for at least 5 minutes. I gave him a yoga ball and he was back to work within seconds. I had a little girl who was sitting in her chair and changing her position every couple minutes. I could tell she was uncomfortable and tired of sitting for so long. I gave her a ball as well and she was able to sit much more still and focus a lot better. I think I maybe heard two pencil taps throughout the WHOLE 8 HOURS of testing!!!! Compared to the pencil taps that go on ALL day long, this was quite the relief!!
We are still in the “honeymoon” phase and the kids are bouncing like crazy. I look across my classroom and it looks like ocean waves; up and down, up and down. We are still learning the appropriate amount of bounce and how to treat the yoga balls correctly. (And some of my boys are learning how to not laugh at the word “balls”). Also, apparently bouncing on a yoga ball is similar to riding a horse and twirling your lasso…We’re workin’ on it!
We are excited! And we are thankful! Thankful for the money so graciously given and the time spent preparing the balls for our class.