Thursday, August 14, 2008

Brain Rule # 1 Exercise

My reflections on brain rule #1 exercise:

Interesting Discoveries:
Long term memory (not short term) seems to be enhanced by exercise.
Aerobic exercise can lower your risk for dementia.
Exercise is very beneficial to people with anxiety and depression.
Children who are physically fit appear to concentrate better than those who are less active.

Favorite quote:
"Physical activity is cognitive candy." p.22

Implications for the Classroom:
The concept that exercise is vital is not a new one. It helps our bodies physically and mentally. So it would stand to reason that children need to be physically active throughout the day. Here are some ways that I have incorporated movement into the average day:

*Use dance music, such as the Cha Cha Slide, or the Macarena as a morning warm-up.
*Change groupings and seating arrangements many times throughout the day.
*Allow children to work around the classroom, not just at their desks. I call their desks their "home bases."
*Take power walks either inside or outside.
*"Act out" many concepts. For example, when the children are learning their multiplication tables, we use movement. For the three times tables, we would hop on "1" and "2" then JUMP on "3". So for every multiple of 3 we were making a more dramatic movement.
*Take stretch breaks as needed throughout the day.

I would love to hear how others are incorporating movement and exercise in their classrooms!

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