Tagged “Physical Activity And Physical Education”

Michael F. Opitz

Helping Adolescents Achieve Optimal Wellness: Five Tips for Parents

Physical and nutritional fitness are in the media spotlight, and for good reason. Both help fight against obesity. As important as they are to adolescents' health, so too are social and emotional fitness. When combined, all four areas of fitness (physical, nutritional, social, and emotional) are necessary for the optimal wellness that leads to living enjoyable, fulfilling lives. I suggest using literacy as a catalyst for moving toward optimal wellness and offer these five suggestions:

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Lara Veon

Yoga and Mindfulness Educates the Whole Child

Mindful Practices

There's no arguing that students today need wellness as a component of their education more than ever before. From a super-size food culture to screen-time saturated entertainment to an increase in trauma in our communities, the experiences in which children are immersed when they leave the care of their schools are often lacking in sound health, social engagement, and safety.

This shortage of wellness might manifest in a variety of ways in the classroom: inattention, hypo/hyper arousal, academic challenges, interpersonal difficulties, and a host of other problems that affect classroom management and student learning. As educators, it is easy to get stuck in a frenetic and stressful cycle of reacting to problems that surface in the classroom or larger school community when what most truly desire is an opportunity for their students to learn skills that will challenge them to contribute to the world in a meaningful and productive way.

Using yoga and mindfulness in schools can do just that.

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Kristen Pekarek

National Health Education Week Kicks Off Today

National Health Education Week 2012

National Health Education Week 2012 kicks off today! This year's celebration looks to promote and establish healthy behavior among U.S. youth through the theme, "Adolescent Health: Planting Seeds for a Healthier Generation." As part of the awareness week, whole child partner the Society for Public Health Education will offer free resources to professionals who work with kids in schools and communities on the following themes.

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Whole Child Virtual Conference

Your Summer PD: Aligning Health and Education

2012 ASCD Whole Child Virtual Conference

ASCD conducted its second Whole Child Virtual Conference in May. This free conference showcases schools, authors, and research about implementing a whole child approach for a worldwide audience. View and share archived session recordings, presenter handouts, and related resources at www.ascd.org/wcvirtualconference.

Gain further insight into ways to better align health and education in school settings through these presentations:

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Comprehensive Education > Reading, Math, and Science

ASCD and more than 25 other major education organizations (including several whole child partners), representing a wide array of subject areas, are promoting consensus recommendations for how federal education policy can better support subject disciplines beyond reading, math, and science. The recommendations are a response to proposals that could threaten schools' and districts' ability to provide students with a comprehensive education that prepares them to graduate from high school ready for success in college, careers, and citizenship, and that narrows the definition of such readiness to only the Common Core State Standards.

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Whole Child Virtual Conference

Your Summer PD: Successful Schools

2012 ASCD Whole Child Virtual Conference

ASCD conducted its second Whole Child Virtual Conference in May. This free conference showcases schools, authors, and research about implementing a whole child approach for a worldwide audience. View and share archived session recordings, presenter handouts, and related resources at www.ascd.org/wcvirtualconference.

Gain further insight into what successful school sites are doing and simple steps your school can take to help implement, sustain, and build a culture of meeting the needs of the whole child through these presentations:

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Molly McCloskey

Best Questions: Mental Health

Despite the rumors, school improvement is hard. It's not about a single passionate leader. It's not about "fixing" teachers and teaching or parents and parenting. It's not about poverty. It's not about money. And it's not about standards. It's about all of them. And more.

In this column, I'll take on the real deal of school improvement—for all schools, not just certain kinds. And for all kids. Because it's not about quick fixes or checking off the instant strategy of the moment. It's about saying, "Yes, and...", not "Yes, but..."; no matter what our circumstances are. It's about asking ourselves the best questions.

More than 20 years ago, I spent one school year as the full-time school counselor in an early childhood center in Washington, D.C. Our enrollment was 250 full-day preK and kindergarten students in an old, huge brick building with 20-foot high ceilings and massive center courtyard-like hallways. I spent the year in easily washable clothes and with my hair in a ponytail at all times because, as anyone who has ever worked in early childhood can tell you, fancy clothes and fancy hair don't mix well with peanut butter and finger paint. It may have been the best job (before this one at ASCD, of course) that I ever had.

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Sean Slade

A Health Iceberg

I use these slides often when discussing health. It starts with the tenets, becomes a pyramid, and then ends with what I call a "health iceberg." Let me show you what I mean.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Investing in Healthy Recess to Nurture the Whole Child

Post submitted by Jill Vialet, founder and CEO of whole child partner Playworks

A healthy, positive school environment transcends what goes on in the classroom. In fact, what happens at recess holds a crucial key to developing the whole child. A school that provides time and space for students to run, talk, and play helps ensure every child is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged. Experience and research tell us that active students learn better, and daily recess is proven to help students focus in the classroom.

Unfortunately, recess can also be a headache. Elementary school principals say they face the most behavior issues at recess. Recess supervision can be challenging, compounding the stresses on a staff already spread thin with other responsibilities. And the demands on the schoolyard really are greater than we remember, with students often relying more on adult support in solving conflicts and many children stepping onto the playground knowing fewer games than did previous generations.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Our Top 10 Blog Posts in 2011

In the past year, experts and practitioners in the field, whole child partners, and ASCD staff have shared their stories, ideas, and resources to help you ensure that each child, in each community, is healthy, engaged, supported, and challenged and is college-, career-, and citizenship-ready. These are the top 10 posts you read in 2011.

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