More Movement in Classrooms

By: Cathleen Moxley Email
By: Cathleen Moxley Email

One complaint often heard is that kids aren't as active as they should be.

So elementary teachers in Wood County are finding ways to bring more physical activity into the classroom.

Educational consultant Jean Blaydes-Madigan uses the macarena as a teaching tool.

"When children do the macarena, they're active so they're getting oxygen and glucose to the brain. They're hearing a steady beat and keeping a steady beat, which activates the language part of the brain," Blaydes-Madigan said.

And this is just one activity that can be used in a classroom to get students and their teachers on their feet.

"Our afternoons are kind of long and a little break with a little bit of physical activity really helps," Don Stansberry, a teacher at Emerson Elementary, said.

Stansberry teaches second grade, and understands the importance of keeping kids active.

"I think it's great that we can take physical activity into our classrooms without having a physical education block, which we already have, but we can do quick little things that help energize kids and help their learning processes," Stansberry said.

Bringing physical activity into the classroom is a great way to get kids out of their seats and moving, and something as simple as using a football to do math can really add to the learning process.

"Throwing football, doing math games with the football and catching; a lot of eye-hand coordination," Stansberry said.

Benefiting students physically and mentally.

"The movement helps to anchor the learning so that they can remember better. It also reduces stress and it helps with behavior," Blaydes-Madigan said.

And the teachers are giving these new skills an a plus.

"I'm ready to try them starting tomorrow," Catherine Day, a teacher at Mineral Wells Elementary, said.

With the hope that classroom studies plus a little exercise, equal a better education.

Blaydes-Madigan also says that Wood County is the model for many schools across the United States when it comes to combining physical education with classroom lessons.

Wood County teachers were able to receive this training because of a physical education program grant earned by Wood County Schools.

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