2 experts and 1 parent have answered
Definitely, it is. Becoming physically active isn’t a guarantee of higher test scores, but new studies have found that more moderate to vigorous physical activity children had, the better they tend to do on tests for English, math and science. This research suggests that not all habits that boost academic performance start in the classroom and exercise could help kids do better in school.
Although many teenagers are more interested in watching TV and playing video games than exercising, for every 17 minutes a day a student exercised, he enjoyed a boost in his scores. Parents should encourage their children to be more active because it's good for their attention, it's good for how fast they process information, and how they perform on cognitive tasks.
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Of course it does!
Take a look at: http://www.brainrules.net/exercise
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From my experience - exercise can really help learning. I've seen it have an impact on behaviour and concentration which in turn helps with learning. Here are three ways I've used exercise as a teacher with positive results:
- First Thing In The Morning Exercise With The Whole Class
Initially, I was a bit concerned about using the start of the morning for exercise as in my mind, the morning was 'prime' learning time and I didn't want to lose a minute! But I thought I would see if morning exercise would be a positive addition to the day. We did relays, races, games and used the play equipment. The kids loved these activities and when they got back to the classroom they were happy and ready to focus on work.
- Small Group Exercise
On several occasions I have worked with small groups of children who find it difficult to stay on task. So we would set the timer for 10 minutes work, 10 minutes activity time to motivate learning. From my observations, this worked well - these children worked well for the short time period and felt it was a reward to run around for a while.
- Brain Exercises
Many teachers I know do exercises to 'warm up the brain'. I would include activities which involved children crossing their midline - from my understanding these would help warm up both sides of the brain. These activities would include thing like touching your left knee with your right hand. I would also include fine motor activities and gross motor activities to strengthen the body which then seemed to positively impact on skills such as writing.
So I am a huge supporter of trying to link exercise and learning.