2.5.18: Moving in Class is Learning in Class
The evidence is building that taking brief activity breaks during the day helps children learn and be more attentive in class, and a growing number of programs designed to promote movement are being adopted in schools.
A 2013 report from the Institute of Medicine demonstrated that students who are more active “show greater attention, have faster cognitive processing speed and perform better on standardized academic tests than children who are less active.” And a study released in January by Lund University in Sweden shows that students, especially boys, who had daily physical education, did better in school.
Movement is a powerful teaching tool, and when schools intentionally incorporate physical elements into instruction, the learning experience can be elevated. “Activity helps the brain in so many ways,” according to James F. Sallis, a professor of family medicine and public health at the University of California, San Diego. “Activity stimulates more blood vessels in the brain to support more brain cells. And there is evidence that active kids do better on standardized tests and pay attention more in school.”
Incorporating movement-based activities can help learners of all ages articulate and internalize new ideas. This process also allows adults teachers and parents to leave their comfort zone and reexamine their roles as both teachers and learners. They explore the relief that students feel at being invited to move, as well as the uncertainty and shyness that can arise when something new and unexpected is introduced.
Flashfit is an easy, fun-to-use app provides aerobic and strength-building exercises in one-minute bursts. Your school can build teams and groups, compete and gamify to increase engagement and reward participation. No special equipment needed – students can move their bodies anywhere. And, Flashfit is offering $100 grants and special support to schools deploying the program. Applications are due February 28, 2018. Find more details and apply here: http://dev-flashfit.pantheonsite.io/grants/
Sources: Washington Post, NY Times, Inspired Learning