Instant recess to enhance student learning
By Alex on May 29th, 2012
It’s that time of year again: the sun is out, the beaches are open, school is coming to an end, and your students are getting restless. At this point in the year, many teachers may feel as if they have “lost” their students to the temptation of summer. I remember those days all too well from when I was a student; the minute weather warmed up, my friends and I would start the countdown until summer break. School was the farthest thing from my mind and sitting in class during those prime beach and pool days was brutal. How could any teacher expect me to concentrate?
However, the summer weather shouldn’t mean it’s time for students to check out. Don’t let the start of summer end your school year just yet. In a recent issue of NEA TODAY there are tips on how educators can rein their classes back in, even on the nicest of days. We all know exercise is good for your heart, lungs, and muscles—but did you know exercising can actually affect behavior and learning?
Researcher John Medina, molecular biologist and author of Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home and School (2008), suggests “In-Classroom Exercise” to help student learning. Teachers are recommended to hold exercise breaks to help energize students’ minds and bodies. Things such as daily stretches, calisthenics, and in-place exercises, which can all be done inside a classroom, are easy solutions to help students focus.
In addition to classroom exercises, some schools hold “instant recess”—a series of short 10-minute breaks that can be held in the classroom. Here is one school that holds a school-wide instant recess:
So as your students count down the days until summer recess, try an exercise break to get them back on track and focused!