Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Brain Gains!

Here is an impressive story covered by CBC news that took place in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. You could locate Saskatoon on a map by looking right above North Dakota and in the lower part of Canada.

This is an interesting story about an 8th grade teacher who works at City Park Collegiate and got permission to conduct a study involving exercise in her classroom. She got this idea from a Dr.Stark who wrote a book which explains how exercise can be the best way for students to learn. The whole idea is that if students perform at least 20 minutes of aeorbic activity a day there performance in subjects like math and reading will increase tremendously. When you increase your heart rate, brain impulses turn on in the front of your brain that controls behavior which helps in the classroom. I found this news piece very interesting because I never thought they would of seen the improvements they saw. I always knew that exercise helped manage stress but I didn't know it had such an impact on other academic areas. This is great for physical education programs because once more people see how physical activity benefits other academic areas they will be more likely to keep these programs in there curriculum and even increase the use of them. Lab D - golf.

Mrs. Cameron was not involved in the experiment because it was just a study of 8th grades to see if exercise would promote learning. It wasn't to see if her learning improved. She also has to supervise the students while there on the treadmill. The outcomes of this program were astonishing. Not only did there academic performance increase there fitness levels increased as well. There push ups and sit ups increased over 200%, sit and reach increased 21%, and there BMI decreased by 5%. There fluency increased 121% and there comphrension increased 230% on the GORT-4. There reading increased 27% and there writing increased 33% on the K-TEA test. There math scores increased 17% on the K-TEA test.

These outcomes are similar and different to the New York State Physical Education Standards in some ways. Throughout the study they were demonstrating standard 2a- demonstrate responsible personal and social behavior while engaged in physical activity. Every student was respect and aware of each others safety at all times. They also demonstrated standard 1 - have the necessary knowledge and skills to establish and maintain physical fitness,participate in physical acitivty, and maintain personal health. You can see this through there increased fitness levels by there increases in push ups and sit ups. They are different in that they really did demonstrate standard 3 - unserstand and be able to manage their personal and community resources. Even though they have equipment for them at school, they weren't provided with resources where they could do the same things outside the classroom.

There is much talk of about physical education having regents requirements in New York State. I think this is a great idea because it not only sets standards for the students but from my experience students try harder and put more effort in regents required classes. As you seen from the video above, too many kids are just sitting around and not being physically active in class. Some of those kids are standing around not because they don't like what the class is doing but because they don't know how to do it. By setting these standards every kid will have the opportunity to learn new things that can last them a life time.

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