N T A Informing & Inspiring New Teachers a Kappa Delta Pi publication Volume 25, No. 1 bit.ly/NTAF17v25 KDP Executive Director FAYE SNODGRESS Managing Editor ANGELA HERRMANN Assistant Editors KATHIE-JO ARNOFF LAURIE QUAY Art Director CHUCK JARRELL Movement in the Classroom: It’s Good for the Brain By Mercedes Tichenor, Kathy Jo Piechura-Couture, and Elizabeth Heins STUDENT ENGAGEMENT NTA Advisors THERESA BECCATELLI MAXINE BROWN HEATHER COWHERD RENEE FUNKE ROBERT GRIGGS JACQUELINE MANN LISA MURLEY ROBIN QUICK ADRIENNE REDDY GINA RILEY CHRISTINE ROSS STEPHANIE L. SCHAEFER SARA SPRUCE The importance of physical activity for school children has been well documented. In his book Teaching With the Brain in Mind , Jensen (2005) stated that movement can offer many benefits to children, including strengthened learning, improved memory, and increased motivation and morale. Pellegrini (2011) found that movement breaks from cognitive tasks during the school day increase students’ attentiveness and facilitate learning. However, today we still see children sitting and listening to the teacher for hours at a time. Medina (2014), author of Brain Rules , contended, “If you wanted to create an education environment that was directly opposed to what the brain was good at doing, you probably would design something like a classroom” (p. 5). Moreover, schools sometimes limit or eliminate recess and classroom movement in exchange for increased instructional time. These actions are counterproductive and not supported by research. Researchers such as Medina (2014) and Ratey (2008) described exercise as the “miracle grow” for the brain. Movement in the class-room is not just fun for students; it’s good for the brain. Further, the stress reduction benefits of exercise and movement in the classroom are particularly beneficial to children who grow up in high-stress situations such as poverty and home-lessness. Embrace movement and use these tips to enhance student learning. Movement Outside the Classroom Movement during the school day is not a one-and-done model, but needs to be regular and ongoing, and can occur in and out of the class-room. During recess outside of the classroom, structure organized team games such as kickball, dodgeball, and Capture the Flag. These games not only encourage exercise and movement, but also support team-building and interpersonal skills. Plan individual group activities such as speed walking, rope jumping, hopscotch, and games like foursquare for students who prefer nonteam activities. Movement Inside the Classroom Movement breaks are short activities that can be academic or nonacademic in nature and can take place inside the classroom before, during, or af-ter lessons. For example, to incorporate academ-ics with movement, toss a beach ball around the room and have students answer questions each ISSN 1070-7379 published four times during the school year by Kappa Delta Pi, 3707 Woodview Trace, Indianapolis, IN 46268-1158. Send all subscription orders and editorial correspondence to address above, call 1-800-284-3167, or visit KDP Online at www.kdp.org. Subscription rate: $14.00, members, per year, $25.00 for 2 years; $20.00, nonmembers, $35.00 for 2 years. Single copies, $7.00 (+s&h). Third-class bulk permit paid at Columbus, Ohio. Postmaster does not return issue to publisher with address change. Subscriber must send changes to: Kappa Delta Pi, 3707 Woodview Trace, Indianapolis, IN 46268-1158. ©2017 Kappa Delta Pi. All rights reserved.