Physical activity is fun for most kids. Some of my favorite moments were games of tag or playing ball. The great thing about being active is that it is not only fun, it is also a great tool to help students learn. A study by Marijke Mullender-Wijnsma of the University of Gronigen in The Netherlands showed that moving beyond "brain breaks" and integrating movement into lessons has a large impact on student success.
When staff at Indianapolis Public Schools realized that kids at Frederick Douglas Elementary School were some of the heaviest in the city, principal Aleicha Ostler searched for help. She implemented a daily before-school exercise program (Build Our Kids’ Success) and students began using exercise ball and stationary bikes, and running. The results have been impressive. From the Indy Star:
Sitting behind a desk for a long period of time is difficult for a learner of all ages. Without breaks it is hard to focus and stay on task. This is even more true for young students. Scary Mommy recently published a post, Texas School Triples Recess Time And Sees Immediate Positive Results In Kids. By adding two breaks in the morning and two afternoon break, teachers are seeing a terrific impact on both student’s behavior and focus.
TeacherPop has a great article out, Science Says your Classroom Needs More Dance Parties. The article refers to the research of Dr. Laura Chaddock-Heyman, from the University of Illinois-Champaign. Chaddock-Heyman focuses on how exercise relates to brain development of children. From the article, the research points out three highlights on how dance parties can help classrooms:
What happens when Jax and Gia are invited into classrooms?
To the team at ActivEd, these results were not surprising. We know the impact of incorporating movement-rich, multisensory learning into the classroom. Our founder, Dr. Julian Reed has done the research.