Friday, September 14, 2012

Movement to increase brain function

We are going to continue to talk about ways to increase the attention and focus of children in school.  One thing that we advocate is movement.  Aerobic exercise is shown to stimulate the brain for optimal learning.  One elementary school near us has all the students, and teachers, walk around the perimeter of the school prior to school each day.  Another has 15 minutes of exercise before begining their day.  Children, especially elementary and preschool children, function best after movement.  Many teachers use taking away recess as punishment for bad behavior.  This only makes it harder for the child to learn, as he/she did not get the necessary gross motor play.  In essence, this teacher has punished herself/himself as the children will have even more difficulty focusing for the rest of the day.  The younger the child, the more movement breaks they need.  Have the children crawl to circle. Have them hop to their desks or to the bathroom.  15-20 minutes/day of aerobic activity is recommended for optimal learning.

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