Education (Elementary and Secondary)
Robbin, Denise, L
Education; Exercise; Mental Health
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Picture yourself back in elementary school. Have you ever struggled to finish an assignment no matter how hard you tried? You may have felt antsy, unfocused, or completely exhausted from the constant thinking and brain power it takes to complete a full six hour school day. What could you have done to regain focus and energy to continue learning? An exercise break! As an Elementary Education major and certified Group Exercise fitness instructor, I aspire to combine my passion for teaching and fitness by bringing exercise into the classroom. For my project, I have designed 5-minute movement breaks that follow a structural pattern of exercises I believe benefit all students. These breaks include one cardio exercise, one strength exercise, and one balance pose and/or mindful breathing moment before students sit back down to continue their schoolwork. In the fourth-grade classroom I currently teach in, I monitor student focus and energy level so that when I observe sleepy, chatty, or unengaged students, we drop everything and move! The results are astonishing as more students are smiling, relaxed, sweating, and ready to learn.
In my practicum and student teaching experiences in a range of classrooms throughout Rhode Island, I have witnessed students who struggle with stress, anxiety, depression, and/or obesity. As we know, mental health and obesity is a nationwide problem in America. To take action, I have created a safe space for students to exercise and breathe in as this is just one way to improve their physical and emotional well-being. The best part is that students can use these movement breaks anywhere they go! This project will provide students with the tools to succeed academically, physically, and emotionally when they move their bodies in the classroom and beyond.