Learning in Motion. California After School Resource Center. Administered for the California Department of Education (C.D.E.)

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1 Learning in Motion California After School Resource Center Administered for the California Department of Education (C.D.E.) Welcome to the Learning in Motion training. This training was developed by the California After School Resource Center with funding from the California Department of Education After School Programs Office. This module explains how physical activity affects student performance and gives examples of activities that support academic learning. It will take about 30 minutes to complete, so let's get started! 1

2 Training Objectives You will be able to: 1. Explain the importance of physical activity for student achievement. 2. Describe three ways that physical activity can support academic learning. 3. Lead at least one physical activity to support student achievement. 4. Integrate physical activity into other subject areas. Let s start by reviewing the training objectives. By the end of this training you will be able to: 1. Explain the importance of physical activity for student achievement. 2. Describe three ways that physical activity can support academic learning. 3. Lead at least one physical activity to support student achievement. 4. Integrate physical activity into other subject areas. 2

3 Meeting the Guidelines It is recommended that children be active at least 60 minutes per day 80% of children are active for at least 30 minutes a day. Less than 50% are active for 60 minutes per day. How does this benefit children's achievement? Physical activity has many important health benefits in students and most are not meeting the established guidelines for how many minutes children are to be active daily. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that children and adolescents partake in 60 minutes or more of appropriate moderate to vigorous physical activity each day. Although about 80 percent of children and adolescents are estimated to spend at least 30 minutes being active, the Active Living Research brief, Increasing Physical Activity Through Recess, reports fewer than half of children ages six to eleven meet the 60-minute requirement. How does a moderate amount of activity benefit children s achievement? 3

4 The Connection Between Achievement and Physical Activity Students perform better academically when they are physically active. Schools of students who engage in physical activity have the highest Academic Performance Index (A.P.I.) scores, and A.P.I. scores go up as physical activity increases. Physical activity can support student learning and begin to close the academic achievement gap. The benefits of physical activity for children go far beyond the physical, mental, emotional, and social health benefits. Physical activity has a positive impact on how well children perform academically. Research tells us that students in elementary through high school perform better academically when they are physically active. Here in California, schools with the highest percentage of students who engage in any physical activity have the highest Academic Performance Index (A.P.I.) scores, and A.P.I. scores go up as physical activity increases What is the achievement gap in California? Let s look at the data. 4

5 Student Achievement in California The Closing the Achievement Gap: Achieving Success for All Students* initiative began in February 2007 because: Twice as many white students showed proficiency in English/Language Arts. More white and Asian American students reached mathematics proficiency than other ethnic groups. White and Asian American students Academic Performance Index (A.P.I.) was higher than those of other ethnic groups. What can physical activity do to help close the achievement gap? *Closing the Achievement Gap: Report of Superintendent Jack O Connell s P 16 Council was developed by the California P-16 Council. It was edited and prepared for printing by the staff of CDE Press. It was published by the California Department of Education in January The Closing the Achievement Gap: Achieving Success for All Students initiative began in February 2007 because: About two times as many white students showed English/Language Arts proficiency compared to their African American, Hispanic/Latino, and low socio-economic status peers. Hispanic/Latino, African American, and special education students fell far behind their white and Asian American peers in reaching mathematics proficiency in The 2006 A.P.I. of African American, American Indian, Hispanic/Latino, and Pacific Islander students is significantly lower than the A.P.I. for white and Asian American students at every level: elementary, middle, and high school. Next we will go beyond the data and see exactly how physical activity can positively impact students on a day-to-day basis. 5

6 Physical Activity Supports Learning Improves focus and concentration for academic work. Improves health and minimizes the number of absences. Less absences = More time in school to learn. Decreases anxiety and depression before big tests and assignments. Improves mood and self-esteem. Confidence boosts academic achievement. Let s look at how physical activity can positively affect student achievement. According to the California After School Physical Activity (CASPA) Guidelines, physical activity is a necessary component that positively impacts learning. When youths participate in physical activity throughout the day, they are better able to learn and grow. Physical activity improves focus and concentration for academic work, and it improves health and minimizes the number of absences. Less absences mean more time to learn. Physical activity also decreases anxiety and depression. Before big tests and during stressful assignments, physical activity is a great tool to help students decrease their anxiety. In addition to all of these benefits, when youths are engaged in physical activity it can improve their mood and selfesteem. If struggling students find success outside of the classroom in physical activity, that may be just the self-confidence boost they need to improve their academic achievement. 6

7 Three Ways to Put Learning in Motion and Boost Achievement 1. Start with physical activity. 2. Energize throughout the day with physical activity. 3. Reinforce academic concepts with physical activity. These three simple steps to integrate physical activity throughout the day can put learning in motion and improve academic achievement. One, start the day with physical activity. A great way to start the day is with an ice breaker in which students can learn more about their peers and begin to feel more comfortable in their environment. Two, energize students bodies and minds throughout the day with physical activity. A quick activity or a short break to get youths moving can have a positive impact on their ability to focus and learn. Three, reinforce academic concepts with physical activity. It is important to remember that students have many different learning styles. Some students learn best when they can engage with academic concepts through movement. 7

8 1) Why Start with Physical Activity? Starting with physical activity can: Energize youths. Help them form deeper relationships with their peers. Provide you and other staff an opportunity to develop additional rapport with the youths. Focus them for the next activity. Stewart, J. A.; Dennison, D. A.; Kohl, H. W.; and Doyle, J. A Exercise level and energy expenditure in the Take 10! in-class physical activity program. Journal of School Health 74: Why should you start the day with physical activity? Physical activity at the beginning of your program will help to energize youths, and will allow them to form deeper relationships with their peers. Students spend much of their learning time at desks, and starting with activity can help them prepare for learning. Teach games that give youths the opportunity to share about themselves and learn more about others. This will give youths the chance to find things in common with their peers and will allow them to create new relationships outside of their normal peer group. Take this opportunity to play in the games with the youths and develop additional rapport with them while you are active, too. After a fun physical activity or two, youths will be more focused for the next activity. The Playworks Playbook has many ice breakers and short physical activities. You will learn how to access this resource from the California After School Resource Center lending library after the training. 8

9 1) How to Start with Physical Activity Helpful Tips: Have minimal waiting time. Choose high-energy activities that are inclusive of everyone s skill level. Focus on fun. Now that you are going to start your day with physical activity, here are a few tips for making it fun for everyone. Choose games that have minimal waiting time. Games that require long lines and lots of waiting time for youths can discourage participation for some and will take more time to give everyone a chance to participate. Choose games that are high energy. When you start your day with a high-energy game you will give youths the opportunity to forget about what is happening outside of the game and be much more focused on having fun while playing. Choose games that are inclusive of everyone s skill level. Activities that require lots of practice and technical skills, like a game of football, will not be accessible to students who have not had prior experience. Also, other students who have not developed their motor skills as much may feel like they can t play because they are not as good at the game. The last piece to remember, and the most important, is to always focus on meaningful engagement. Students should enjoy the activities and have fun. Games that allow all youths to feel successful and enjoy their experience will be the best way to kick off the beginning to your day. 9

10 1) Start the Day: Activity Time! Ice Breaker Activity: Where the Wind Blows Where the Wind Blows is an excellent physical activity ice breaker for all ages. Have one chair for each student and make a medium to large circle with everyone sitting in the chairs. Start by standing in the middle of the circle. Say the phrase, The wind blows to whoever and complete this sentence with an interesting fact about yourself. A couple examples are: The wind blows to whoever likes writing in a journal, or The wind blows to whoever was born outside of California. Tell your students that if anyone else has this in common they have to move to a new chair, and it cannot be the chair next to the one they are sitting in. While they are moving to a new chair you will sit in a chair, leaving one student to be in the center and to repeat the phrase, The wind blows to whoever Younger students might need a little more adult support and direction around topics and older students will enjoy an interesting prompt. Please select the Where the Wind Blows handout link now to print it and take a minute to write down a few topics and interesting prompts you could present to your students. The bottom of the handout has more ideas that you can use. 10

11 2) Why Use Energizers Throughout the Day? Activity breaks can improve cognitive performance and classroom behavior. Short, fun, easy activity breaks throughout your day can help students learn. Never have students sitting for more than 50 consecutive minutes (younger students only 20 to 30 minutes). Mahar, M. T., Murphy, S. K., Rowe, D. A., Golden, J., Shields, A. T., & Raedeke T. D. (2006). Effects of a classroombased program on physical activity and on-task behavior. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 38, Why should you use energizers throughout the day? Physical activity energizers throughout the day are a wonderful way to transition from one activity to the next and help keep students on task. Research shows that short activity breaks can improve students concentration skills and classroom behavior. These breaks can be one minute or more. It is important to remember that students shouldn t be sitting for more than 50 consecutive minutes, and younger students should not sit for longer than 20 to 30 minutes consecutively. 11

12 2) Energizer: Activity Time! Energizer Activity: 10-Second Shake Out Are you ready for a quick minute move? This activity is called the ten-second shake out. I am going to start counting backward from ten. When I begin counting down you are going to start shaking your right arm. When I get to zero I am going to start over again from ten and you are going to start shaking your left arm, and we are going to repeat this for your right leg, then left leg, then your entire body. Get your right arm ready--ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one, zero--and left arm--ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one, zero--and right leg--ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one, zero--and left leg--ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one, zero--and now your entire body--ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one, zero. How do you feel now? What are you noticing about your breathing? This is a great activity for youths of all ages, especially when you play, too. The Playworks Playbook has many more indoor games that you can use as energizers. You will be able to access this resource after the training. 12

13 2) How to Incorporate Energizers Helpful Tips: Short and quick activities (three minutes or less). High energy and vigorous movement. Minimal game instructions. Be silly. Energizers can be a wonderful way to spark youths back into focus. Often times when we have youths sitting for long amounts of time, it is necessary to get them moving and keep the blood flowing. Here are some helpful tips for incorporating energizers into your daily activities. Energizers are meant to be short and sweet. It is okay to do quick energizers that take only a minute or three. Higher energy and more vigorous movements will allow youths to energize even more. Choose games that require minimal instructions, and as you are demonstrating the activity remember to be silly and have fun. Students are more likely to get into the activity if they see you are into the activity. 13

14 3) Why Use Physical Activity to Reinforce Academic Concepts? Physical activities can help reinforce all academic concepts. Provides an additional learning style opportunity for youths. Example Content Standard: Math Content Standard (3 rd Grade): 2.2 Memorize to automaticity the multiplication table for numbers between 1 and 10. California Department of Education. (2005). Getting Results, Update 5: Student health, supportive schools, and academic success. Sacramento, CA: Author. Available at Why should you use physical activity to reinforce academic concepts? One of the most amazing things about physical activity is that it can be used as a medium for academic learning. Physical activities can be adopted or adapted to reinforce academic concepts. It is also important for reaching all students, who have varying learning styles. Some students will benefit from the opportunity to engage their physical and cognitive skills simultaneously. For example, think about this educational standard from the Mathematics Content Standards for California Public Schools: By the end of the third grade, students will memorize to automaticity the multiplication table for numbers between one and ten. Some of your students will thrive by practicing their multiplication tables on paper and with rote memorization, but what about students who learn differently? Many students will benefit from the opportunity to engage with the material while doing physical activities. We ll review a physical activity to help reinforce this standard a little later in this training. 14

15 3) How to Lead Games that Reinforce Academic Concepts Helpful Tips: Connect with the instructional school day. Be aware of your teaching styles. When teaching a new game, always show and tell the directions together. Do a practice round. Use youths as leaders. You are about to take the next step in putting learning in motion. Here are some helpful tips for leading games that reinforce academic concepts. First, connect with the instructional school day. What are students learning in science, history, math, and so on? You can do this by talking to teachers and students and/or reviewing concepts included in students homework. Second, ask yourself, what styles do I use to teach? There are many different learning and teaching styles. Verbal (speaking), auditory (hearing), and kinesthetic (doing) are the most common. As educators, we often teach in the way we, ourselves, learn best. Be aware of your teaching style, and when you are teaching a new game, provide instructions to as many different learners as possible. One of the best ways to do this is by showing and telling as you are teaching the game. For example, if you are telling students they will skip across the room, show them what skipping looks like as well. Third, it might take some practice for students to get accustomed to learning academics and physical activity simultaneously. Do a practice round. This will decrease the anxiety before playing and allow the kinesthetic learners the opportunity to practice. Fourth, leading activities is a great way to further learning. If you have older students, it is a good idea to use youths as leaders. You can have them demonstrate the rules, or act as facilitators. Using youth leaders gives them ownership over the game and allows them an opportunity to lead their peers. As we move forward to our next activity think about how you can utilize your teaching style to make the activity enriching for your youths. 15

16 3) Academic Game: Activity Time! Math Finger Tag Supports the 3 rd Grade Math Content Standard Now it is time to learn an academic game. The name of this game is Math Finger Tag. It can be used to support the grade three Math Content Standard: Students will be able to memorize to automaticity the multiplication table for numbers between one and ten. To start, have the whole group stand in two lines facing one another so each person has a partner. Begin the game by explaining the safety zone boundaries and how to tag safely. Tell them that the game will begin on the signal, one, two, three, multiply! On the word multiply, the students will throw out their hands holding up one to ten fingers. The first student of a pair to multiply their two numbers together and say the correct product will become the tagger. The other student will try to cross the safety zone boundary before being tagged. For example, if Maria and Jevon are playing together and Maria throws out a four and Jevon throws out a two and Maria says eight before Jevon, then she becomes the tagger and Jevon has to retreat to the boundary line behind him. After a few rounds of you leading the game they can self-start each new round. There is no need to create points or goals around winning. It is best to have them change partners after a few rounds. This game can also be played with addition, odds and evens, and greater or less than. Have fun and feel free to adapt this game to your teaching style. 16

17 Physical Activity Integration The Thematic Approach Overlap content across curricula over set period of time. Shared Integration Model Two distinct disciplines working together with a focus on the shared concept. Integrating physical activity with other subject areas gives students the opportunity to move more throughout the day. A popular approach to overlapping content across curricula over a set period of time is the Thematic Approach. This is accomplished by focusing on a set theme such as the Olympic Winter Games. For example, students in Grade 2 can participate in the following integrated activities with a 2014 Winter Games theme: Show students a map of the United States. Compare the geographical areas where they live and of the Winter Games. Have students create a map and then look up the measurements of the time it would take to walk, run, or fly from the city and state they live in to that of the Winter Games. Create a class log for students to record the amount of minutes they are physically active throughout the day. Have students total the group amount each day or week and record the amount in the class log. Celebrate milestones throughout their log journey as well as when they reach their final destination. Another practice used to promote physical activity through integration is the Shared Integration Model. This approach includes two distinct disciplines which work together with a focus on the shared concepts. For example, you can integrate physical activity with Math while also incorporating movements and/or activities practiced in physical education, as previously shown in the Academic Game activity. 17

18 Additional Resources Playworks Playbook How are Student Health Risks and Resilience Related to the Academic Progress of Schools? Fit Bits Series Take 10! Series These materials, available for free loan from the California After School Resource Center, can help you get ideas on how to increase physical activity in your programs while also emphasizing safety. The California After School Resource Center also has a number of materials to support your efforts in increasing physical activity in the lives of youths. Here are a few examples that can help you get ideas for activities in your programs and how to implement them safely. For example, the Playbook offers structured sports activities designed to get students moving, including ice breakers and energizers. At the end of this training, you will be able to access a list of resources and Web sites for additional ideas and information. 18

19 Today You Learned 1. The importance of physical activity for student achievement. 2. Three ways that physical activity can support academic learning. 3. How to lead at least one physical activity to support student achievement. 4. Ways to integrate physical activity with other subjects areas. You are almost finished with the training and are ready to put learning in motion. Before we end, let s review what you learned today. We explored the academic achievement gap for California s students and the importance of physical activity for student achievement. We provided you with three ways that physical activity can support academic learning. We showed you some fun and healthy physical activities that you can lead to support student achievement. We also showed you how easy it can be to integrate physical activity and movement into other subject areas. Remember to have fun leading these activities, because when you are having fun, your students will have fun and learn. 19

20 Congratulations! Congratulations! You have reached the end of the Learning in Motion training. You will now have the opportunity to take a quiz to test the knowledge you have acquired in this training. If you receive a passing score, a completion certificate will be ed to you at the address you provided. If you don t receive a passing score, you will have the opportunity to take the test again at any time. Following the quiz, you will be asked to complete a brief feedback survey. After you complete the survey, you will be able to access sample California After School Resource Center library resources and additional information about learning in motion. You may start the quiz by selecting the quiz link. Thank you for your participation. 20

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