Saturday, October 17, 2015

Facilitating Focus and Reducing Stress Through Bouncy Bands

I recently received a class set of Bouncy Bands for Desks for all the students in my fifth grade class through a project on Donor's Choose. After just a few weeks of use, I give them a big "thumbs up" or maybe a should give them a "toes up" instead.  You can read my Donor's Choose project here. Last year, I added a classroom spin bike to my class with great success and it is in constant use throughout the school day. My students still spend a lot of time sitting at desks and these Bouncy Bands provide a simple way to provide movement as they sit at their desks. I wasn't exactly sure how these would work when I ordered them, but I have found them to offer no distraction at all and the kids keep their feet or one foot on them and I watch them slowly bounce their legs as they sit and pay attention or do their work. My students say that they really like having them on their desks.

Here are some things I have learned in setting them up for my class.

1) Parents like the idea and readily contributed to the Donor's Choose project!
2) Let the students install the Bouncy Bands on their own desks with the help of a partner.
3) I tell the students I don't want to see them used as "slingshots"- by that I mean don't pull on them and release them to make a sound. I also tell them they are not to be used as "trampolines" -in other words don't stand on top of the band and push it towards the floor.
4) Following these rules, the bands are completely silent.
5) I got a band for every desk and child in my classroom. You never know which student is feeling stressed out, sometimes it is the quiet and still ones. I don't think these are just for your overactive students.
6) I wish they made one for my teacher's desk!
7) If you can't get a class set, acquiring one or a few might help settle down students that you think could benefit from them. Parents might also choose to buy one for their child's use at school. I know that as I was ordering these for my class, a parent in a class down the hall purchased a few for their child's class.
8) The company also makes a Bouncy Bands for Chairs.

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