Does physical activity improve student focus?

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Cyndi Danner-Kuhn (not verified)

I am just amazied and

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I am just amazied and mortified that anyone would even consider the fact that physical activity is not a good thing. We are becoming a nation of unhealthly, overweight, uncaring, blobs!!! As educators we need to be fighting for our children to learn everthing they need to help them become productive citizens. Just teaching them how to pass a standarized assessment in a select few content areas, so the school meets the ridiculous requirements of NCLB is only hurting our nations children and in turn is going to have devistating affects on everthing. I think we are looking at a very scary future!! These blinders we have put on in education are complarable with the blinders we have put on with the whole Global Warming thing. Go see the movie An Inconvenient Truth. You will see what I referring to. We are destroying ourselves, when even we know what the solution is in education and allow politions to diticate the rules. I contend we need to take every politician and put them in a classroom in some normal place and let them teach for a month and do everything we as teachers and adminstrators have to do. And then maybe we could have an intelligent and informed conservation about schools, recess, PE, curriculum, Music, Art, social skills, and everything else that is getting left out because of NCLB.
george myer (not verified)

Another loaded question.

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Another loaded question. I've noticed several "loaded questions" in your "polls". I can't recall the others and don't have time to research them, however, this may be the epitome of that 'loading': "...due to ever-rising rates of obesity and ever-shrinking time for physical education in schools..." The only thing that is 'shrinking the time for physical education in schools' is our new-world PRIORITIES. Somehow in our public systems, we have moved away from the basic focus of creating a functioning citizen of the United States, not of the world. (It is taxpayer money after all) Due to 'new-world' priorities, we are now producing high school graduates who cannot do math, cannot read or write English, and are fat and out of shape. Physical Education should be the first priority. My martial arts sensei says, "If you cannot protect yourself; you cannot protect your family." If you are not healthy, you cannot study or learn. Let's get back to the classic basics where we had DAILY 'gym classes' (required) and where students had to actually meet the 'standards' before they passed to the next grade level. Get rid of Block, Alternating Block, etc. When was the last time you heard a piano teacher say, "Go home and practice every other day." Lastly, quit spending time on studies that subvert what the teachers are trying to do in the class room. Movement may be good in elementary classrooms, but it has no place in all the academic classrooms of a high school. And lastly, lastly; I sure you've guessed that it is probably time to retire old guys like me. Oh yeah, I forgot the most important thing: Let's throw all the computers out of public schools, even the secretary's!
Julie Dotto (not verified)

I whole-heartedly agree that

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I whole-heartedly agree that movement is essential in an elementary classroom. This doesn't mean that students benefit from constant, intense movement. On the contrary, varying the degree of movement seems to keep children attentive and involved. During a typical day, my third grade students work at tables, at desks, on the carpet; they walk around the room, sit with partners, and study in the hall. Some children do need a break, and some enjoy sitting down to work. I see no problem with chairs, as long as they are used in moderation, and as long as children are given some freedom regarding where they can study. Working at a desk/table and sitting still is a cultural norm that will help children later. Working collaboratively and being an active participant in activities is also important. I'm glad the Mayo Clinic has realized the latter is essential, but let's not forget moderation, moderation, moderation.
Chuck Fellows (not verified)

Allowing student physical

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Allowing student physical activity has little to do with obesity and everything to do with learning. An expectation of docile and compliant children in a classroom is insane. Get rid of the desks, use tables and chairs or just cushions on the floor. If the learning is relevant and the students engaged their focus will provide the necessary movement or stillness. They will be learning!
Rebecca Petheram (not verified)

I totally think physical

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I totally think physical education is crucial to students well-being now and as adults. However, although there are myriad benefits to PE, I don't believe students in academic class AFTER PE focus well. I've been teaching 30 years. Students in classes directly after PE find it MUCH harder to implement self-discipline. I have found this to be so with 8th graders (8 years), 7th graders (6 years), 10th graders (5 years), and in the 11 years I have taught library classes to K-6. And research bears that out. It's why schools traditionally schedule PE in the afternoon. Teachers KNOW it's hard for a kid to focus after PE. I realize elementary teachers get their prep periods when their kids go to PE, music, library, etc.
Nancy Applegarth (not verified)

Movement is an essential

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Movement is an essential part of a child's day - and the ability to use physical activity as an educational tool can only add a positive demention to learning - kids in the classroom can only sit still so long ( depending on their age) and releasing that energy either at recess or a class centered on movement is key. I believe obesity is directly linked to the eating habits of our kids - and the food choices made during the day. Physical activity is needed for so many additional reasons beyond mere threat of obesity.
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