Saturday, March 8, 2014

The Spiky Ball Experiment

A few weeks ago I began an experiment. My class has been very distracted and distracting. When things are just not working, I adjust and try something else. Sometimes we move around the room to learn. Sometimes I just change to something else and come back. But lately things have been a little out of control.

I asked myself what the children are telling me the environment needs. I have several students that like to fidget with pencils or borrow my koosh ball for a little while.

So I purchased a group of spiky balls. I gave them to the students as our "thinking balls." They could hold them whenever they wanted and use them to help think.

It's been a few weeks. Is it working? Well, the boy who kept pulling out his notebook to draw isn't doing it anymore. The pencil tapping has let up (for the most part). 

I do fight the balls flying through the air sometimes. (And a reminder that the balls stay in their hands or in their desks.) I have to restrain myself from being distracted if students are fidgeting with them. But I think that it's been a worthwhile experiment.

I started with 24. I know where about a third of those are right now. Maybe less.

But I'll keep the experiment going.

And keep trying to find out how to make the best environment for this group of second graders.

(Note: I found different ones at the dollar spot in Target. I'll add those after Spring Break in a couple of weeks.)


  1. I just bought a set of these too! I thought they would be fun to paint with:)

  2. I think these would be great for painting, Deborah!