Instead of memorizing multiplication tables and languages the old fashioned way, CBC news reports that Dutch researchers have discovered that adding a little physical activity in the classroom can go a long way to improving math and spelling abilities. Activities as simple as running or jumping in place during repetition tasks helped students to achieve higher scores than those in regular instruction, according to the study.
One middle school in Brampton, ON has introduced a program that combines 40 to 80 minutes of exercise with lessons in math and science. Instead of sitting to teach curriculum, Grade 6 teachers are using sport and movement to engage students. And as one 6th-grader puts it, “Being able to do my academics with my physical abilities, it’s like a dream come true.”
Sounds like a no-brainer for all schools to implement this approach, but there’s an obstacle that might make it unlikely that your child will get moving during math. Researchers found that educators who were uncomfortable with physical activity themselves were less motivated to teach active lessons.
It will take time for math and movement to become a natural pairing, but parents can take steps to move this along. Why not make homework time an active time as well? Leaping into long division just might be the key to better grades for your child. And when the teacher takes notice, jump at the opportunity to share what you know.