Thursday, February 09, 2006

Sit Still! Don't Move!

The other day I was chatting with some teachers who were worried about the probationary status of their elementary school. What if the kids don’t do better on the next batch of standardized tests? What if the school is shut down?

In a misguided effort to assure that the children learn to read better, there is now a mandate in this and other schools that all 1st and 2nd graders must spend 90 minutes at one time sitting still in their seats doing their reading.

Surely they’re joking. I’ve yet to meet a little kid who could or should sit still for 90 minutes! And we certainly don’t have any research results proving that this 90-minute forced sitting still improves anything.  

Kids need to move.  Moving is essential to learning. So every ten minutes or so they need to get up, stretch their arms up to the ceiling, walk around the room, swing their arms back and forth across the opposite leg while they’re walking (crossing the mid-line helps with reading), make an infinity sign (an 8 on it’s side) in the air, track this “lying down” 8 with their eyes.  Always start in the middle of the infinity sign and go up to the left. These activities only take a minute or two, and the children still get in their 90 minutes of reading.  

Got kids who are antsy doing their homework?  Try moving and crossing the mid-line. Just be sure that the “interruption” isn’t distracting—no TV or video games as a break.

By the way, I’ve moved my Brain Boosters web site over to  Take a look. Check out the Brain Boosters TeleSeminars for teachers and parents. You can start anytime. Take one. Take all six.  CEUs are offered for the series.

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