Megaera Regan: Action Based Learning Schoolwide - Port Washington SD, NY

Manorhaven Elementary School, Port Washington School District,
Port Washington, New York.  Megaera Regan – Physical Education Teacher.
Interview with Megaera Regan


Since 1990, Regan has played an integral role her districts reputation for high quality physical education programs. Beyond her district, Regan has spent her career dedicated to helping students become lifelong movers and her current work is impacting the lives of children throughout the country. 

Regan is among the few to receive two National Awards by Let's Move Active Schools, she's been recognized by NYAHPERD, ING Run for Something Better, Leukemia Society of America, and awarded  New York State Elementary PE Teacher of the Year, twice!  Her accolades speak to her outstanding dedication to children's health and wellness.



What does Action Based Learning look like in your school? Tell us how you implemented ABL.


Before we began our partnership with Action Based Learning, the classrooms in our school were pretty typical of others in the district.  We were beginning to understand the importance of movement breaks, but that was pretty much the extent of what was happening.  There was some conversation about trying yoga balls or standing desks in one or two classrooms, but it stopped at talk. 



We are nearly through our second year with Action Based Learning, and this is what Manorhaven looks like now:

  • 1 fully kinesthetic 5th grade classroom
  • 8-10 kinesthetic corners
  • Numerous classes with flexible seating
  • Most classes, if not all, have at least one or two yoga balls or standing desks for students who need them
  • Action Based Learning Lab on a cart
  • Professional Development: Manorhaven has hosted 2 professional development day workshops at our school, and are proud to host the annual ABL Summit for the past 3 years which brought in educators from all over the world!
  • Action Based Learning Family Night


What's Next?

We are looking forward to outfitting a dedicated space for a full lab for K-5, once our school’s construction project is completed. There are other schools in the district that are starting to explore kinesthetic furniture, and use some  active learning strategies and movement breaks. Our school is leading the way.  Many surrounding districts schedule visits to Manorhaven to see our kinesthetic classrooms, ABL lab, and PE classes!




Give us some examples of how ABL has made an impact on your students, and on your school.

Students are beginning to understand that physical activity will help them with learning. They know, and will repeat the chant, “Exercise grows brain cells”. It is tremendously important, and empowering, for students to realize that they can become better learners through movement. One of my first grade students created the phrase “rainbow brain” after running one day.  The activity ended, and she exclaimed “Whew! Mrs. Regan, I have a rainbow brain now!” She recognized and could articulate that her brain was ready to learn, and that physical activity was the reason!


Data from Principal, Bonni Cohen:

“We are using the NWEA (Northwest Evaluation Association) MAP(Measures of Academic Progress) tests as a benchmark screener for our school district. We test the children twice a year in reading and math using this norms referenced assessment. The children are given a projected growth score at the beginning of the year after the first testing cycle is completed. This year I was especially interested in how the students in our kinesthetic classroom performed. I would like to share the data with you.

  •  The kinesthetic classroom was significantly higher in math than the classrooms with traditional furniture. 
  • They had 22/24 students (92%) reaching their projected growth score in math this year. The closest class after that was 70%.
  •  This classroom had 14/24 ( 58.3%) of the students reaching their projected growth in reading.  This was the highest on the grade level and third highest in the testing grades.

The classroom referenced is Stacey Drucker’s 5th grade full kinesthetic classroom. Bonni is looking forward to see this trend continue.



A note I received from 1st Grade Teacher, Trish Rex:
“I took my students to the Lab to help them memorize spelling words.  It definitely helped.  When the lab was inaccessible one day and we tried to just study our words without moving, one students said she was having trouble memorizing.  We went into the hall and followed the same motions of the lab while practicing the words -- jumping, hopping, etc.  And she was able to memorize them!!!”


A note I received from 2nd Grade Teacher, Lorraine Belleman:


“K came into second grade reading below grade level. He is also tall for his age but the youngest in the classroom with his birthday December 30th. Being tall, many have had higher expectations of him both physically and academically. 

When I introduced the rocker to K he could not balance on it at all. We placed the rocker next to a regular desk but he continued to fall off.  Next we tried  to have him on the rocker next to the pedal desk. For weeks and even months, K would practice his spelling words, play math games, or work with a partner (rocking next to a partner who was using a pedal desk.)

Last month, it was reading workshop and I watched K grab his book from his cubbie, he pulled out a rocker and began reading and rocking without falling. He was able to read and stay focused on his book!!! (which by the way was a book on grade level!) So impressed with this dramatic improvement!”



 Any words of advice for anyone looking to implement Action Based Learning?

    • Read Spark
    • Do your homework.  Gather all information and data available that will help sell your idea.
    • Get administration on board. They have the budget for PD and equipment.
    • Work from the bottom up.  I think we were successful in part because the teachers brought ABL in. We were not told by administration that this is what we were to do.
    • Find a couple of champions - Teachers who are interested and passionate about bringing movement into the classroom
    • Start small.  Look to create staff buy-in. We started with brain breaks, and I turn-keyed with a couple of teachers who wanted to try it out. They then shared their positive experiences with others at a faculty meeting. From there, it spread. We followed the same model with ABL.
    • Start with just a few pieces of kinesthetic furniture, and build from there.
    • Get professional development.  The ABL certification program really launched our journey. We were able to turnkey to our peers after the training. 
    • If you are doing the ABL lab, it is really helpful to have the PE teacher pre-teach the stations to the students. We did this, and after the classes had done the lab during PE a couple of time, I scheduled a time to do the lab with the teacher and their students. Once the classroom teachers were comfortable, they were able to bring their kids on their own. Of course it would be ideal to have a dedicated teacher/paraprofessional to run the lab, but that is not possible in our district at this time (budget reasons)
    • Get more professional development :)
    • Stay on top of the literature



To learn more about Action Based Learning Professional Development and Certifications, visit

To learn more about the equipment Manorhaven implemented, or to request a tour, reach out to or visit the online store