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Core muscles, brains get plenty of use in math class

Students in Cindy Bush’s math class at Ridgetop Junior High sit on exercise balls in lieu of regular classroom chairs. - Photo by Celeste Cornish
Students in Cindy Bush’s math class at Ridgetop Junior High sit on exercise balls in lieu of regular classroom chairs.
— image credit: Photo by Celeste Cornish

Seventh-graders are by nature fidgety little buggers who find it difficult to calm down and focus in class — especially math. One teacher at Ridgetop Junior High School has found an innovative way to channel her students’ boundless energy: She took away their chairs.

In Cindy Bush’s two-hour math block class, the students can choose to sit on exercise balls instead of chairs. The exercise balls allow the students to bounce away nervous energy while they study quadrilaterals and the like. She and another math teacher, Matt Sanford, share the classroom and the exercise balls.

Bush bought the exercise balls — about 18 in all — with a $300 grant from the

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