Date of Award

2014

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Physical Education

First Advisor

Dr. Nancy Hardman

Second Advisor

Sally Dan

Third Advisor

Dr. Rachel Pool

Abstract

After performing research into the effects of physical activity and movement on learning, I was asked to present my findings at a school-wide colloquium. This gathering was well-attended by students and faculty members alike. The university professors seemed highly interested in what I had discovered and asked many in-depth questions. The majority of the questions dealt with the same major issue: implementation.

No one questioned whether the presented information was true or not. The questions that came were how it would be possible to incorporate movement in the classroom in ways that were not distracting from the content. While the point of my research was for eventual implementation, I was not prepared for these questions. I had not had many opportunitites to put into practice what I had researched. I did the best that I could to answer the questions that were asked of me, but it left me thinking and reflecting long after the colloquium. How do you allow students to move during a lesson without it being a distraction from the lesson itself?

Thus, I embarked on the journey of practicing what I preached. I realized that research is only valuable if you learn from it and apply it. I wanted to be able to present a variety of methods of physical activity taking place inside of the classroom that enhanced the learning process. While I believe that any movement is good, my desire was that the physical activities in my lesson would improve the entire learning experience. My one lesson of success prior to the colloquium along with the continual reverberation of the professor's questions provided me with the drive necessary to take the extra steps to develop feasible plans that included physical movement in the classroom.

My aspiration is that movement in the classroom is not something that only students in my classroom will experience. I wanted to be prepared to share ideas and sample lessons plans to other teachers or anyone interested in the idea of adding movement activities in the classroom. While I could have expanded my research and learned more about the science behind this fascinating idea, I realized that teachers unfamiliar with adding physical movement to their lessons would not see two or three lessons as a valuable resource. These protopyes are intended to serve as a resource for teachers seeking to implement physical activity and movement in their classrooms. The lessons are written for first through fifth grades, all with physical movements included as integral component. Some lessons have movement as a major part of the learning while in others movement is more supplemental to the lesson. The main factor is not the amount of time students are out of their seats and on their feet, but the single factor that the students are learning through movement activities.

 
 

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