Elementary Students Can Take “Body Break” Any Time During Class



When we are talking about academic performance, there is no right or wrong way to "workout." Any physical activity to get you moving and to get your blood pumping is beneficial and can boost your mood and help you reset and focus. Confederation Park Community School in Saskatoon Canada opens their gym all day and allows students to leave class at any time to burn off some energy. The goal is to empower kids to explore different kinds of physical activity when they feel like they can't concentrate in class. They can walk or run, do weights, play on gymnastics rings, flip big tires over, throw weighted balls, do yoga, dance, and many more activities. "Brain breaks" are one effective method to get kids moving in the classroom, but, as parents and teachers know, kids come to ...

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Akron School Increases Time for Recess


Latino Health School Recess Physical Activity

Teachers in Betty Jane Elementary School in Akron, Ohio noticed kids were restless and not paying attention in class. Although testing is right around the corner, the school principal increased time for recess 15-20 minutes everyday. Schools play a huge role in helping kids reach their recommended daily physical activity, which boosts their mental and physical health, as well as their academic performance. Betty Jane Elementary also does a "Fit Five" brain break every morning, which is five minutes of physical activity in the classroom. Test scores improved from the fall to spring semester. The students' social skills are also thought to have improved given additional time in an unstructured setting. It is important that teachers and school officials understand that ...

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How California Is Boosting In-School Physical Activity



With funding from The California Endowment, the Alliance for a Healthier Generation's Healthy Schools Program has launched a new initiate, Active Students, Active Minds, to help elementary, middle, and high schools in California (38.6% Latino) provide 60 minutes of physical activity for kids through a 60 minute equation (see image for equation). Any school staff member is eligible to register their school for free. When a school registers to participate, a school representative will have access to resources, trainings, assistance from national experts, and a customizable assessment tool and action plan, and will be prompted throughout the year to solve the 60 minute equation. Each week, schools will receive 2 simple classroom breaks/activities and a bonus activity to reach the ...

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Middle Schoolers Develop Health Program for Elementary Students



In 2010, the predominantly Latino city of Corpus Christi, Texas, was labeled the “fattest city in the nation” by Men’s Health magazine. A group of local middle school students were not happy about this designation and wanted to do something about it. After speaking to friends and teachers, the students reached out to influential community members to develop interest and support for a health program for elementary students called “Mission FitPossible.” Three years later, the students were high school students and they would wake up an hour early to bring Mission FitPossible to nearby elementary students. Next Generation to Inherit Fattest City in Texas Corpus Christi, Texas (59.7% Latino), was labeled the “fattest city in the nation” in 2010. Sarita Damaraju and Doug ...

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Brain Breaks & Afterschool Clubs Bring Physical Activity to Middle Schoolers



Principal Matt Pope wanted to make a difference in the lives of the children at DJ Red Simon Middle School in Kyle, Texas, just south of Austin. When he found out that Simon students had among the highest obesity rates in the district, he immediately took action to introduce healthy changes to the students. The school eliminated junk food on campus and at concession stands and encouraged students to eat at least one fruit or vegetable during breakfast and lunch. They also implemented a policy to require PE for all, brain breaks throughout the day and—at the request of students—afterschool clubs to keep them active. EMERGENCE Awareness: Middle-school teachers face enormous responsibilities—meeting high academic standards, preparing students for real-world challenges, and ...

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