Additional Benefits for Special-Needs Learners
Many teachers have found that programs that include movement help learners with special needs. Several hypotheses may explain this phenomenon. Many special-needs learners are stuck in counterproductive mental states, and movement is a quick way to change them. Second, movements, such as those involved in playing active games, will activate the brain across a wide variety of areas. It may be the stimulation of those neural networks that helps trigger some learning. For other students, it may be the rise in energy, the increased blood flow, and the amines that put them in a better mood to think and recall. Some routines that call for slower movement can do the reverse, calming down students who are overactive, hence supporting a state of concentration. (more…)
Health: Can Exercise Make You Smarter?
Exercise does more than build muscles and help prevent heart disease. New science shows that it also boosts brainpower—and may offer hope in the battle against Alzheimer’s.
This is a printer friendly version of an article from the Appleton Post-Crescent Physical activity and learning go hand in hand, expert says By Kathy Walsh Nufer Post-Crescent staff writer August 16, 2006
APPLETON — Neurokinesiologist Jean Blaydes Madigan believes the best way to nourish children’s brainpower is to get them up and moving.
The former classroom and physical education teacher from Murphy, Texas, now consults on how brain research links movement to learning. She said there is a “lot of emphasis today on students sitting in class loading up on academics,” when they should do quite the opposite. (more…)
Research study June 10, 2008
Acute coordinative exercise improves attentional performance in adolescents
Exercise has been shown to positively affect cognitive performance. Due to the neuronal connection between the cerebellum and the prefrontal cortex, we hypothesize that cognitive performance might be already visible after short bouts of exercise.
The summary reads:
…Bilateral coordinative exercise was effective in completing the concentration and attention task (after exercise that raised the heart rate). With the heart rate being the same in both groups, we assume that the coordinative nature of the exercise might be responsible for the significant differences. Bilateral coordinative exercise lead to the pre-activation of parts of the brain which are also responsible for mediating functions like attention.
Taken together, our results support the request for more short bouts of exercise in schools with a focus on coordinative skills, for example. via instructed exercise in school breaks. The fact that our results were achieved with students of an elite performance school, where students practice sport every day (25-30 hours per week) supports our demand for more acute coordinative exercise.
Henning Budde, Claudia Voelcker-Rehage, Sascha Pietrasyk- Kendziorra, Pedro Ribeiro, Gunter Tidow
The Department of Movement and Training Science, Humboldt University in Berlin Germany
Jacobs Center of Lifelong Learning and Institutional Development, Jacobs University in Bremen, Germany
Bioscience Department, School of Physical Education, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
These are my links for April 26th – April 28th:
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Jump Rope for Heart Program May Improve Student Performance Jumping rope may be a perfect exercise for the brain
Written by Jean Blaydes for American Heart Association
Education is in the age of standards-based assessment. Students experience learning and make connections based on curriculum that is designed with specific academic objectives in mind. Some of the most beneficial lifelong learning comes from real life experiences that cannot be measured by paper and pencil tests alone. Problem solving, communication, goal setting, creativity, perseverance, risk taking and altruism are skills that help create productive, well-rounded citizens. The American Heart Association’s Jump Rope for Heart program can help students achieve many of the academic standards by encouraging them to engage in experiential learning strategies that anchor learning up to 90% better. Students also learn about important health and fitness practices that can lead to healthy, active, lifelong behavior changes.
JUMPING ROPE MAY BE AN IDEAL BRAIN EXERCISE (more…)
Written for TEPE Journal 2001
By Jean Blaydes
What if one day someone walked into your gym and arrested you, saying that you represented all physical educators nationwide. You are being accused of:
- Not contributing to the learning process of the students
- Not contributing to elevating standardized test scores
- Allowing obesity among children to be at the highest percentage ever and
- Teaching an enrichment subject that is expendable because it is not required as part of the core academic subjects.
Your accusers are anyone who remembers having a bad experience in Physical Education in their youth. Your jury is made up of decision-makers, school board members, legislators and budget makers. The Judge is the nations major decision-maker for the choice of curriculum, facilities, time allotment and class sizes.
- What will be your argument in your defense?
- What will be your evidence?
- Where is your proof that exercise increases learning?
- Who will come to your defense?
- Who will be your witnesses?
- Who will represent you? (more…)
Written by Jean Blaydes Madigan
The following article appeared in the Texas Elementary Principal and Supervisors Association Journal Instructional Leader in September 2004
Senate Bill 19 2001 recommends 30 minutes of physical activity daily for Texas students grades K-6. \”In accordance with Texas Education Code, 28.002, all students enrolled in full-day kindergarten or Grades 1-6 in an elementary school setting are required to participate in physical activity for a minimum of either 30 minutes daily or 135 minutes weekly under the following conditions: (1) Participation must be in a Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS)-based physical education class or a TEKS-based structured activity; and (2) Each school district shall establish procedures for providing the required physical activity that must consider the health-related education needs of the student and the recommendations of the local health advisory council.\”(1) (more…)
We are excited about our new website!
Here we will share ideas, discuss current issues and connect with our ABL family! Let us know what you think!
Jean and Cindy
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These are my links for April 21st – April 24th:
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