Innovative classroom approach in Rockbridge County has students 'bouncing' with excitement

ROCKBRIDGE COUNTY, Va. – If you walk into one Rockbridge County classroom, you may be surprised to see a unique seating arrangement for students.

Right now Mrs. Huffman's second grade class at Mountain View Elementary in Rockbridge County is learning about snakes and the meaning of different words.

If it seems like they're bouncing with excitement to learn it's because they literally are.

"We know that kids all learn differently and sometimes, it's just a change of seating that makes a difference on whether they can focus," said Lora Teague, principal of Mountain View Elementary. 

Mrs. Huffman says a fifth-grade teacher came up with the idea to use stability balls in place of chairs years ago, and she's been doing that with her second graders ever since.

"I think everybody in this building is under the opinion that if kids are happy and comfortable, they'll learn," said Huffman. 

Studies show that this chair-less approach to learning can help students focus.

"You can hear that they're engaged in conversations. they're engaged in discussions. they want to answer questions," said Teague. 

And for students, that's fun. And so is "bouncing!," said Isabelle, one of Mrs. Huffman's students.    

In third, fourth and fifth grade, teachers use chrome books in the classroom.

"The feedback I've gotten from them is the kids are a little more excited about maybe some dry subjects because they're able to seek more information," said Teague. 

It's all adding up to success. Mountain View was recognized as a National Blue Ribbon school last year.

"It's our students that have achieved that. We teach them and we love them, but they're the ones that accomplish everything," said Teague.  

Teachers and staff say they'll keep rolling on with innovation in the classroom, so every student can achieve their best.

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