Monday, 17 September 2012 17:39

6 Ways to Keep Your Kids Moving

A new infographic from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) called “Burn to Learn” draws attention to the strong connection that exists between physical activity and academic success. Regular physical activity (60 minutes a day is recommended) helps children earn higher grades, improves their focus and behavior, and positively impacts their attitudes. The following suggestions will enable you to incorporate more movement into your child’s week.  

1. Organized sports. If your kids have an interest in soccer, baseball, or other sport, consider signing them up in a local league. Team sports improve fitness levels, build a variety of athletic skills, and provide valuable opportunities to make new friends and build character and sportsmanship.

2. Early morning fitness. Many schools are shifting their physical education classes to the beginning of the school day to take advantage of the benefits of early morning movement. Research has shown that kids who exercise vigorously in the morning are better able to focus on their classwork throughout the day.  If your school does not offer this option, consider waking up a little early on school days so that your child can climb on a jungle gym, go for a bike ride, or engage in some other type of vigorous play.

3. Walk to school. If this option is not possible and you drive your child to school, consider arriving a little early, parking several blocks away from campus, and walking from the car. In addition to the extra exercise you and your child will get, the two of you will also receive the added benefit of extra time together to talk and bond.

4. Weekend family movement time. Weekdays can often become so busy that we need to look to the weekends to find time to exercise with family members. Bike rides, nature walks, and games can quickly become highly anticipated family rituals that combine the benefits of movement with the joys of family time.

5. Theme days. “Double-touch Tuesdays” (every time our bottom hits the chair when we sit, we push ourselves up to a standing position before sitting back down) and “Up and Back Wednesdays” (whenever we climb three stairs, we go back one step before moving forward) are two of the many novel ways in which we can incorporate specific movements on certain days to increase our level of physical activity.   

6. Active learning strategies. When children are doing homework or studying for quizzes and tests, encourage them to look for opportunities to turn sedentary activities into movement activities. If your kids are using flash cards to practice math facts, for example, spread the cards throughout the room so they have to walk from one card to another. If your kids are studying their spelling words, they can recite each letter as they hit a handball against a wall or dribble a basketball. The more novel the strategy, the better.
Published in For Parents
Friday, 13 January 2012 21:50

Learning How to Learn (An Introduction)

New "Learning How to Learn" Video:

For the next month or two, my weekly blog series will be a weekly video series, and I will be featuring new instructional videos on YouTube. Including this week's video, I have seven videos posted on the site. This week's new video features a “Learning How to Learn” Workshop I hosted for my students and their families on October 26, 2011. About two-thirds of my students attended this hour-long, after-school workshop, and I followed up with the families of the remaining children at a later time. Though I try to create rich, authentic, contextual learning experiences for my students on a daily basis, there are still times when they need to learn how to study and remember discrete pieces of information independently, especially as they progress through the upper elementary grades and into middle school and high school.

Published in Blog
Friday, 06 January 2012 21:50

Introducing My New Weekly Video Series

Introducing My New Weekly Video Series:

For the next month or two, my weekly blog series will be a weekly video series, and I will be featuring new instructional videos on YouTube. Currently, I have six videos posted on the site. The first video features two former students demonstrating the important role that revising plays in the writing process. The next four videos are part of my “Rock Your Students’ World” series and feature students demonstrating a variety of movement activities that help children learn academic content. The sixth video is the one I am debuting with this post.  In this video I share a powerful way for teachers to create a favorable first impression with students and their families at the beginning of each school year.

Click here to see my YouTube page that contains the six videos.

Published in Blog