Ever seen that child at the back of the classroom that can't sit still. Maybe you've even seen a teacher scold for this.
It might sometimes be frustrating to try to get a child to sit still and learn. What we have to realize is that learning is exactly what that child is trying to do. Children intuitively know that movement and learning go together. Body movement increases brain activity and can even cause brain growth.
Children are Full of Energy for a Reason
Children are made to move and exude energy. But here’s a common problem in our classrooms: twenty or more young ones thrown into a crammed room together, sat down at small desks and made to listen, read and write for six or more hours a day.
That’s just detrimental for them. Now, imagine throwing a child with learning disability into the mix. It is a recipe of unending frustration for the child.
That child knows deep down that he or she ought to be moving, running, and playing, and instead the child is being made to do a thing that he or she positively cannot do at the level that is expected. The child may react in a number of ways, from anger to goofing off to depression.
The Read and Ride Program has Shown the Benefits of Exercise in the Classroom
But a recent experiment in Winston-Salem, North Carolina shows that learning doesn’t have to happen this way. With the “Read and Ride” program, the school fills one classroom with stationary exercise bikes, and teachers bring their classes to the room throughout the day for reading and riding time.
The outcome has more than proven its worth. Students in the “Read and Ride” program doubled the reading scores of those who were not in the program.
Moreover, the chance to use that natural proclivity towards action is also stimulating the brain, allowing the possibility of still more increased brain growth.
But similar chapters are not starting up around the country. Perhaps it may be worthwhile to talk to your school about funding such a program?
We need to find creative ways to bring education and fitness together, and not sacrifice either one of them. They were made to go together.
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