Research has shown that there are positive benefits for the brain from physical activity including academic achievement on test scores. With common core and state tests coming up, here are 10 physical activity suggestions to get the brain ready for testing:
1. Brisk Walking: Need something easy and quick? Line the class up and take a quick, brisk walk, outdoors if able. Change up speeds, go slow, go fast, go left and go right, throw in some stairs if possible and head back to class to take the test.
2. Recess: Would it be possible to have a quick outdoor recess before the tests? Children are usually more physically active when loose parts are available during recess, therefore be sure to include jump ropes and balls during recess versus just playground equipment,
3. Chair Aerobics: If you are tight on space and can not leave the room, turn on some music and do some quick chair aerobics. March in your seat, do large arm circles and rotate your trunk right and left.
4. Dance in Your Seat: Again, if tight on space, turn on some music but perform the dance moves from a seated position. Do the macarena sitting in a chair, stomp your feet in sitting to the ChaCha Slide, etc.
5. Shake it Out: Stand at your seat, Call out different body parts and the children have to shake that body part. Play it like Simon Says or move quickly calling out different body parts to change it up quickly.
6. Classroom Cardiac Training: Stand at your seat. Walk in place for 30 seconds, jog in place for 30 seconds, run in place for 30 seconds, jump in place for 30 seconds and finish with 30 seconds of jumping jacks.
7. Yoga Poses: Need to sneak in some movement but keep it calm and quiet? Try a quick yoga routine of standing poses ie mountain pose, standing crescent pose, warrior pose, chair pose, etc. Check out Classroom Activity Posters for easy standing exercises.
8. Animal Actions: Move like various animals around the room. Need ideas? Check out the Monster Movement Transition Cards for a full list of animals A-Z.
9. Let the Kids Lead: Out of ideas? How about have the students take turns leading the class in some quick wake up exercises? If the kids can not think of ideas, what if they come up and demonstrate sports they participate in (ie karate, swimming, basketball, etc) and the rest of the class mimics their actions?
10. Stretch It Out: Have the class perform some gentle stretching before they are hunched over their tests for hours. Keep it simple such as 5 Postural Exercises Using a Classroom Chair.
This electronic document is a large goal bank for school based occupational and physical therapy that is aligned with the English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics common core standards for grades K-2. Get more information at http://www.yourtherapysource.com/commoncorek2.html