As greater educational demands are made on students and teachers, often beginning in preschool or kindergarten, it is increasingly important to embed brief exercise strategies into the elementary school curriculum. Movement activities done before transitions enable students to integrate their learning and behave more appropriately. Increasing time spent in seated teaching and testing along with the integration of special needs students into regular classrooms makes the inclusion of movement strategies increasingly important.
Transition strategies include signals, music and exercise activities that integrate and improve learning while preparing students for new tasks. Some children require extra time to process information, especially developmentally immature children and those with developmental challenges. While thought by some administrators to take away from learning, twenty minutes of added daily physical activities embedded into the classroom curriculum significantly improves behavior, attention, fitness as well as math and reading achievement compared to classes given equivalent time to seated learning tasks.
Several FAB Strategies can be implemented in under five minutes in regular classrooms to promote student’s behavior and learning.
FAB classroom exercise strategies integrate mindfulness, stretching and movement activities Transition Strategies Students are taught to move vigorously then transition back to academic learning.
Additional activities can be found for various grade levels at <www.pecentral.org>
Donnelly, J. E. & Lambourne, K. (2011). Classroom-based physical activity, cognition, and academic achievement. Preventive Medicine, 52, S36-S42.
Erwin, H., Fedewa, A., & Ahn, S.(2012). Student academic performance outcomes of a classroom physical activity intervention: A pilot study. International Electronic Journal of Elementary Education, 4(3), 473-487.