MOVEMENT MOVEMENT AT YSMS
Ninety percent of the air in the body is stale after sitting for fifteen minutes. Eight-five percent of today’s students are primarily kinesthetic learners. These facts from Lengel and Kuczala (2010) have driven YSMS to initiate the Movement Movement. Brain break exercises such as twist claps and arm figure eights activate the brain by getting the right and left brain hemispheres working together. Teachers have embraced using these thirty second brain breaks as transitions between activities to re-energize students. Incorporating movement into lessons by walking to the four corners of the classroom to answer multiple choice questions or by learning steps to a procedure through repeating a series of motions better engage students and promote long term learning.
Students have also jumped on board to support the movement initiative. They have demonstrated school-wide morning exercises on the announcements, led brain breaks during classes, and created their own movement activities for school projects. When asked about using brain breaks during the school day, students commented that the breaks are fun and help them stay focused. Teachers reported that kids are better behaved, more attentive in class, and are better able to retain information if they learn it through movement. Prior to taking PSSAs and Keystone exams, YSMS students had an opportunity to elevate their heart rates through exercise. Middle school test scores reflect the effectiveness of this approach. Students are preparing their minds and bodies, becoming YS Well, through the Movement Movement at the Middle School.