Many studies have recently proven that regular exercise benefits our brains in many ways. It has shown that regular exercise and/or active play can improve memory, learning, attention span as well as alleviate the symptoms of A.D.H.D. So, what are schools doing to promote this positive correlation? With the consistently rising standards, schools are finding less time to make sure that students are active and with decreasing budgets they are also offering less physical education as part of the regular curriculum.
The question becomes, how can we, as educators be sure that students are getting an adequate amount of exercise during their school day to make them the best learners they can be? I am sure there are many ways to accomplish this goal, but I am going to share a few ways that I do it in my kindergarten classroom, while integrating learning at the same time.
My all-time favorite way to incorporate exercise is by using Heidi's Songs DVDs and CDs. Heidi Butkus is the owner of creator and owner of Heidi's Songs but, more importantly, she is an actual kindergarten teacher. She has created a "multi-sensory method, even preschool age and special needs children can easily learn to identify numbers, shapes, and spell sight words by listening to music and moving with the motions"! The students are having so much fun singing and dancing to the music (getting their exercise) that they don't even realize how much they are actually learning. Here is a sample video of a classroom using one of Heidi's videos:
Another way we can incorporate movement into our everyday curriculum is a new find a co-worker shared with me and it is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. Each time we did it with our students this year, we discussed how unbelieveable that it is available on the internet, FREE! It is called Adventure to Fitness. They are 1/2 hour videos that not only exercise your body, but your mind, too! The videos are very interesting and definitely a good workout. Here is an example:
And because exercise doesn't always have to involve learning, I am sharing two of my favorite movement videos that I have saved on my computer for those times when we just need a break.
My newest find (that I haven't actually tried in the classroom yet) is Just Dance for Kids Wii Videos on YouTube! How cool is that?? Easy moves (I mean, I can even do them people!) + kid friendly music= good, clean exercise!
I'd like to thank Jeannie for giving me the opportunity to guest post on Kindergarten Lifestyle. I'd love for you to visit Mrs. Miner's Monkey Business for educational resources and freebies.