All kids need movement. There are so many reasons that range from the increase in ADHD to the overuse of technology and everything in between. The parents blame the schools and the schools blame the parents and truth be told we all have a part in this.
I posted a link on my FACEBOOK page to an article in the Washington Post titled Why So Many Kids Can't Sit Still in School Today. Angela Hanscom, the author and founder of TimberNook had many great points.
I know in my own classroom, I have seen a rise in attention issues over the past 20 years. There is controversy over whether the number of students with ADHD has really increased or it just appears that way due to media coverage and it is more "acceptable" now. The bottom line is, our kids need help!
This epidemic is near and dear to my heart. I feel for these kids. It is so HARD for them to sit still and pay attention. I see the turmoil in their parents eyes as they need to make a decision when the diagnosis comes back: Do we medicate our child?
So what can we, as classroom teachers do? Angela Hanscom suggests "an hour long recess session every day". (Yes, you read that right!!) In addition, she says that children should play outside after school.
Realistically, we know that is not possible.
So what can be done?
ALTERNATIVE SEATING in the classroom provides the MOVEMENT that each student needs! Students have the opportunity to sit or lay on the carpet, stand at their desk as well as at the teacher desk turned work station, sit on a stability ball and yes, even a traditional chair!You can read more about our alternative seating HERE.
I am lucky enough to have a class set of STABILITY BALLS. Stability balls help strengthen our core. In the Washington post article, the author says "Most of the children in the classroom had poor core strength and balance."
If you want to find out more about my stability balls and Donors Choose,you can read my prior post HERE.
BRAIN BREAKS with Go Noodle or old fashioned cd's are a favorite. The author of the article notes brain breaks should not replace outdoor play.These are great to compliment recess and PE!
RECESS and PE are truly a MUST. As teachers, this is often out of our hands. It varies from state to state, county to county and even from school to school.
We have PE 3 days a week for 50 minutes a day.In years past, we were only allowed to take our students to recess on non-PE days.This year, parents partitioned the school board for MORE recess. The parents were heard and now there in a MINIMUM of one hour of recess a week.
Kids need to roll, run, dance and MOVE each day. This is not only providing exercise for our children, but will help develop their vestibular system (balance). As we work to accommodate our students who need MOVEMENT, we need to enlist parents in this MOVEMENT!
Kids need to PLAY OUTSIDE after school. SHUT OFF technology!! Let kids go back to being kids. They need to play with their friends, run and play tag, throw leaves and do somersaults and cartwheels!
Why, you ask?
We are in this together!
It takes a village to raise a child.