While childhood obesity rates increase, opportunities for students to be active have decreased. Thus, it’s extremely beneficial for teachers to integrate physical activity in their classrooms throughout the school day so all students have multiple opportunities to participate in physical activity breaks on a daily basis. Some ideas:
- Participate in fitness alarms. For example, ring the bell at 10 am and 2 pm and have all staff and students participate in physical activity.
- Incorporate brief physical activity breaks, one to two minutes, into each class period. Have students take turns leading various movement activities.
- Integrate movement within core academic lessons, tying physical activity to learner objectives.
- Provide ‘brain break’ opportunities, which involve some type of movement or allow students to be creative. For example, have younger students practice spelling or vocabulary words while walking around the room, or play Simon Says or a game of charades based on a topic the class is studying.
- Implement physical activity during the homeroom or advisory period in middle and high schools.
- Utilize a video/DVD exercise library for classroom use.
- Include physical activity opportunities during the school news or morning announcements.
- Incorporate ‘walk and talk’ breaks – take your class out for a walk and have students discuss what they have learned during the class period.
- Model enthusiasm for physical activity by participating in breaks with students and in school employee wellness opportunities.
Engaging secondary students in physical activity throughout the school day can be a challenge. Do not be afraid to try new activities to get the students moving. Here are some tips and lesson integration ideas that may be helpful for secondary school classroom teachers.
- Start slowly and have patience. Be persistent about encouraging movement in class.
- Ask for student input on what they would like to do for physical activity breaks.
- Ask students to lead classroom physical activity breaks. Use appropriate music that appeals to teens to encourage movement.
- Create a voluntary physical activity program during lunch periods that could include Dance, Dance Revolution, Wii Fit, yoga, Pilates, Taebo or exercise videos/DVDs.
- Integrate movement into your class content.
Tucson Values Teachers is a regional initiative determined to prove that we should not just talk about the importance of improving education, but also unify in action to retain, recruit and reward our K-12 teachers. The actions TVT takes recognize the critical role of teachers in our region and the vital influence they have on Tucson’s future.
According to Jacqueline Jackson, executive director and 2010 MOVE Advisory Council member, “Tucson Value Teachers isn’t just another apple-for-a-teacher public campaign. It is about fostering and encouraging the collaboration, optimism and support necessary to focus on the three R’s – Retain, Recruit and Reward K-12 teachers who, every day, nurture and educate the nation’s presidents, doctors, artists, legislators and teachers of tomorrow.”
Tucson MOVE is proud to partner with Tucson Values Teachers to help build a real education-first based community.
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