Energize your Classroom!
The classroom is meant for learning, right? So, why are we even talking about physical activity during this important learning time that should involve brain power? Well, the benefits of including and utilizing physical activity in the classroom are tremendous, at all ages. I have seen enormous growth in self-esteem and motivation with students who regularly are exposed to physical activity during the school day.
From what I have observed, students that are active usually speak up and stay involved in the class activities. Students look forward to coming to school and participating in class. They are more focused in the classroom and willing to sit, knowing they will be moving soon enough. I have experienced a huge decrease in student aggression. The students also show physical signs that their health is improving. The small amount of time I invest in physical activity with my classes greatly increases the amount of time I am able to instruct and work with students.
Stay tuned for my series on how to incorporate physical activity throughout the day – there are loads of options. Here is one of them!
Use Technology to Your Advantage
Students love technology, and I do, too. Using my laptop and projector allows me to project anything I want, or they want, right into the classroom. They are tons of resources available that are free, or super cheap. One of my favorite no-brainer resources is the Fit for a Healthier Generation videos on the Alliance for a Healthier Generation website. The videos are free and take the guesswork on what types of activities to do. Just log in, press play and start moving with your students.
Here are some other great resources:
Often I will just crank some tunes and expect some dancing; videos and dance tutorials are great too. Whatever gets them moving. We also will have Wii and Xbox Kinect tournaments and demonstrations. Exposing children to the different uses of technology and that video games are not just for sitting down and that moving is important are all great reasons for us to use videos and video games.
Technology keeps the kids interested and allows me, the teacher to keep my content relevant and of interest to the kids. I have found that when I use websites and other technological tools to help with physical activity kids are requesting to move more and usually are reminding me to take the breaks.