Tagged “Physical Activity And Physical Education”

Sean Slade

The Movement Continuum

This month's theme is about integrating movement across the school day. It's a theme that aims to look at not only why physical activity should be incorporated into and across the school day, but also how it can be.

Regarding the why, the research is pretty solid. There are cognitive benefits associated with physical activity, including improved memory, concentration, attention, and academic performance. All of these (and other) benefits were succinctly summarized by Charles Basch back in May 2010 with his publication Healthier Students Are Better Learners: A Missing Link in School Reforms to Close the Achievement Gap.

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Sean Slade

We Aren't the Only Ones Concerned About Movement

Interestingly, yesterday's ASCD SmartBrief came out with the results of an Ed Pulse survey on which school health issue is of primary concern for schools and districts. The results showed physical activity and movement during the school day as a key concern among ASCD SmartBrief readers, second to bullying and other safety concerns. Just over 20 percent of respondents listed physical activity as their primary school health issue.

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Molly McCloskey

Best Questions: Integrating Movement

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.

When I first started writing this column, I suggested to you that there is a set of questions that can be applied across each of the whole child tenets to guide actions in schools. For the healthy tenet, for instance, they look like this:

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Schools Can Reverse the Sedentary Trend

Monica Lounsbery

Post submitted by Monica A.F. Lounsbery, PhD, professor and director of the Physical Activity Policy Research Program, Department of Kinesiology and Nutrition Sciences, at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

When we were growing up, when someone said physical activity they usually meant exercise, or exercise and physical activity were one and the same. That was also a time when we walked or rode our bikes everywhere, at school we had daily physical education and recess three times per day, and playing outside with neighborhood friends was the best social opportunity a kid could have. We didn't have computers or cell phones, our families had only one car, and while we had television, we only had a handful of channels. Television programs were geared mostly to adult viewers and signed off in the late evening. We had cartoons, but they were only on Saturday morning until 10:00 a.m.

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Eric Jensen

How Important Is Exercise at Schools?

While many schools are reducing physical activity because of time constraints created by the No Child Left Behind Act, a large group of studies has linked physical activity with cognition.

The researchers have come at the topic from a wide range of disciplines. Some are cognitive scientists or exercise physiologists. Other advocates are educational psychologists, neurobiologists, or physical educators. The applied research, which compares academic achievement between schools where kids have physical activity and those where they don't, also supports the hypothesis.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Promoting Physical Activity and Health in Schools

Shane Pill

Post submitted by Shane Pill, a former science and physical education teacher in schools in Perth and Adelaide, Australia, where he also held leadership positions that include director of school administration and deputy principal. At Flinders University, Shane lectures in curriculum and physical education studies. His research interests include curriculum design and enactment; pedagogical models for sport; and sport-related games teaching, sport coaching, and curriculum leadership. He is also a part of the Sport, Health and Physical Education (SHAPE) Research Group and is the president of the Australian Council for Health, Physical Education, and Recreation–South Australian Branch. Connect with Shane on his website and on Twitter @pilly66.

Schools, and physical education teachers in particular, have more to offer than any other institution in helping children lead active and healthy lives. That's because the right permissive environment can lead to high levels of physical activity (Australian Sports Commission, 2004).

There is little doubt that decreasing activity levels are significantly affected by our changing (read, more sedentary) lifestyle. It also appears many parents are spending less time with their children due to work commitments and that, when they are with their children, time, finances, and access to facilities also prevent them from engaging in physical activity with their children (Martin et al., 2002).

Schools are the only context where we can ensure every child is exposed to a permissive environment that works with children's natural desire to play and move and that provides for the possibility of a coordinated, sequentially developed health education.

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Peter DeWitt

The Importance of Movement

Have you ever had to sit in the same seat for hours at a time at a long meeting? As you looked around you saw other attendees bouncing their legs up and down because they began to get restless after sitting for such a long period of time. Then it happens! The facilitator allows a break, and people jump from their seats to get the circulation going in their bodies. Movement increases your energy level and the feelings of lethargy float away.

That feeling of sitting down and not being able to wait to get out of your seat is how students in our school systems feel every day. They sneak a walk to the water fountain or get up to go to the bathroom just so they can move their bodies. Physically, they need to get out of their seats to alleviate some of the energy that they have stored up as they sit through a lesson.

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Klea Scharberg

Ready? Set? PLAY!

Did you play this weekend? We did!

On Saturday, ASCD joined more than 50,000 kids and their families on the Ellipse in Washington, D.C., for Nickelodeon's Worldwide Day of Play. Now in its eighth year, Worldwide Day of Play encourages kids to get up, get out, and go play! Along with the President's Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition and Let's Move in School (led by whole child partner the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance), partner organizations played games and shared information with families on ways to be healthy in school and in the community.

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Sean Slade

New Book Tackles Childhood Obesity and Literacy

Michael Opitz talks about linking health, wellness, activity in the classroom, and FitLit (linking literacy and fitness) in this interview about his book, Literacy Lessons to Help Kids Get Fit & Healthy.

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Healthy School Communities

Health and Learning News and Updates

The Health and Learning News and Updates blog column will become a newsletter on July 11! Subscribe to the newsletter to get the latest news, resources, and announcements about school health and well-being.

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