It’s becoming increasingly important to incorporate physical activities into the daily classroom routine. Besides the fact that almost everyone can afford to lay off the fast food (except for me – I will forever love you chicken nuggets), there truly is an obesity epidemic amongst our youth. According to the American Heart Association, almost one in three children are overweight or obese. With phys ed and extra curricular activities being cut from school budgets left and right, it is important as teachers to bring the physical activities into the classroom. This is something that means a lot to me in particular. My father suffered from a heart attack about six months ago. I am so fortunate that he is still with us today, but it was definitely a wake up call for him and others close to our family. Being overweight and living an unhealthy lifestyle is no joke. Although he isn’t a young boy or one of my future students, it still brings awareness to the importance of physical activity and staying in shape.
There are so many ways to do this in the classroom. In one class I observed in last year, the teacher set up a small obstacle course for the students to do. She had a mini trampoline, a jump rope, blocks to jump over, a tunnel to crawl through, etc. The kids LOVED IT and it was a great way for them to get up and get active in a fun way.
I also heard a great idea the other day from one of my classmates. She talked about how in her placement classroom the teacher has a short kids yoga session with the students. She projects the video onto the smartboard and all the kids follow along. Yoga is something that I enjoy doing for so many reasons – it makes you stronger, more flexible, and truly relaxed. This is a great way for kids to get active.
Another great idea is to get outside whenever possible. Taking the lesson outside allows students to be out of the traditional classroom setting and get fresh air. Going on a nature walk or collecting leaves for a project are fun ways to interact with the outdoors and get up on your feet.
How do you incorporate physical activity in your classroom? Let me know!
ASOS is seriously one of the best sites out there for clothes. Their variety and amount of inventory is unbelievable AND they have free shipping worldwide. PLUS they have a student discount program too!! They’re clothes can get pricey depending on the item and brand, but most of the ASOS collection is reasonable and there’s always a ton of stuff on sale (up to 70% off!). I totally love blouses for teaching and those occasions that are not quite casual/not quite dressy. They look great with anything from trousers to skirts. Honestly, a good blouse can spruce up any outfit. Here are some of my favorite blouses on their site right now under $55 (click the photo to link to the product):
ASOS Blouse With Drop Neck In Mono Geo – $54
ASOS Swing Blouse with Contrast Sheer Ruffle Collar – $50.63
ASOS Blouse with Contrast Curved Collar in Fall Paisley Print – $54
ASOS Blouse with Gathered Hem and Color Block Panels – $54
UGH. I DIE.
Today in class we took some time to discuss our placements for observations. There are multiple different placements within my class – preschool and kindergarten, private and public. One of my classmates talked about how in their placement classroom the teacher bought ball chairs for one of the tables that are used for a center activity. I had heard of seating like this for children with disabilities to help them stay seated for a longer period of time than they would in a regular desk chair. When I got home from class I looked up these ball chairs and they’re super cool and surprisingly cheap! There are tons on Amazon (that ship for free with prime!) that you can choose from – different colors, sizes, etc. Here’s a summary (and link) of the Abilitations Integration Six-Leg Ball chair:
“The ball chair helps strengthen core muscles and encourage active seating. It can be used for therapy, with children who have sensory needs, attention deficit, or processing challenges, and with children in special needs learning environments.”
The classroom that was described to have these chairs did not have any special needs students, so it definitely suits children of all different levels. Concentration levels will increase because if the child is moving around or fidgeting on the ball, they will most likely fall off. Therefore, children are more likely to sit still and complete the activity or task that they have been given. It’s also another way to make the classroom FUN.
Amazon has the orange one by Abilitations (link above) priced at $36.07, while a smaller version is priced at $24.44.
This is definitely an idea I’m going to keep in the back of my head for my future classroom! How about you? Do you have these unconventional chairs in your classroom? How has it benefited your students?
Last night got a little crazy around here so I didn’t have the opportunity to post about my first day of observations. I had little information about my placement – all I knew was the school I was going to and my teachers name. It turns out that I’m in an autism classroom with six students. Each child has their own aid who helps them throughout the day – doing discrete trials, crafts, eating, playing, etc. Each child has their own set of goals, therefore their academics are tailored specifically to their needs. It was all very intense and very interesting at the same time. This is my second time in a special education classroom, but the last experience I had was much different. Those children were technically not yet classified and were ages 3-4. The students this semester are ages 5-7 and their curriculum is much more developed based on each child’s levels and goals. It takes a very special person to take on this role and my cooperating teacher is definitely that type of person. She’s very sweet and truly loves her students. On top of that, she has plenty of experience in this area. From the second I walked into the classroom she was giving me copies of pamphlets and articles about autism along with explanations of different treatments and assessments that are incorporated into their class.
Rowan has a Special Education endorsement that you can obtain by taking a few extra classes and doing student teaching hours, which a lot of students decide to do. I went a different route and chose to do a reading endorsement. Although I am a bit out of my element, I am excited to see how these students grow throughout the semester. This is definitely going to be a good experience and I’m always thankful to the teachers that allow college students into their classroom to learn.
I know I just said that I was off to bed, but I just remembered that I wanted to share something else with you all. Today at work (I work at a Tutor Time day care center, BTW) the toddlers made the cutest craft — ghosts with their feet! Each child had one of their feet painted white and then they stepped down on black construction paper three times. Once it dried, they added black buttons as eyes and some glitter around the page. It was seriously cool. When parents came to pick up their children they all caught a look at the project and loved it! The outcome looked pretty similar to this image that I found on google:
(click the picture to link to the original site)
Tomorrow is my first day of observations for this semester! I can’t believe this is the last time I’ll be in a classroom until student teaching. Time has gone by so fast. This is my fifth semester of observations so I pretty much know what to expect.. but it’s always a little nerve-wracking on the first day. I just hope my teacher is nice and let’s me interact with the class rather than just sit and watch. Anyway, off to bed I go. Wish me luck!