The Parent-Teacher-Child Connection: Get those kids moving!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Get those kids moving!

According to Science Daily, "researchers have found an association between physical fitness and the brain in 9- and 10-year-old children: Those who are more fit tend to have a bigger hippocampus and perform better on a test of memory than their less-fit peers."  In their test, The children who were in better physical condition also did better on tests of relational memory -- the ability to remember and integrate various types of information -- than their less-fit peers.

No surprise there!  I've long advocated that students in classrooms don't need to sit in nice neat little rows, copy notes from a blackboard or lecture, and then regurgitate that information two weeks later on a test.  (Excuse my yawn!)  Oh, right, that yawn was my body's way of getting more oxygen to my brain.  Here then, are some ideas for getting more oxygen into your students' brains throughout the day.
  • Give them a true "activity" several times during the day to get them moving out of their seats.  Have them find clues you've hidden around the room, or ask them to stand up and join you around a table for a demonstration, for example.
  • If you have long periods of time where they must stay seated for a test, give them physical exercise both before and after the test.  The first exercise (touching toes ten time, perhaps) gets the oxygen to their brains.  The sceond exercise gets the kinks out of their muscles and uses up some of that youthful energy.
  • Establish active routines.  If kids know that an exercise session is approaching, they'll be more likely to endure the sitting time.  This is especially important for your little AD/HD learners.
  • Add dance to your curriculum.  This links the kinesthetic intelligence with the musical intelligence as your work on their language and logic intelligences :-)
  • Play active games.  Here are some marvelous ideas: http://www.kellybear.com/TeacherArticles/TeacherTip69.html
Happy Teaching!

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