Student Well-Being Letter to the Editor

Schools Must Combine Exercise and Learning in the Classroom

March 28, 2023 1 min read
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To the Editor:

The article “Students Need More Exercise. Here’s How to Add Activity Without Disrupting Learning” (March 3, 2023) was an excellent depiction of why it’s important for students to add movement into their daily school routine.

The shift to get kids out of their seats and moving has been around for a while, but many schools struggle to implement it due to the pressure of test scores and not having enough time. The New York City school system has introduced Move-to-Improve, a program that provides resources and materials to teachers and physical educators that demonstrate how learning and exercise can work hand in hand in the classroom.

Working in city schools can become problematic as many buildings do not have a gym, forcing students to have physical education classes in basements or small rooms. A program like Move-to-Improve could be a great way for schools in other states to provide teachers with ideas and visuals that can be utilized in the classroom or a small gym.

In order for any of this to have an impact, the first thing that needs to happen is appropriate professional development for all teachers and staff who work with students on how to incorporate these activities during academic instruction. Allotting ample time, in which staff learn and practice exercises and movements suitable for small spaces with each other, will encourage them to use these methods with their students. The important follow-up to all this will be allocating time to share what has been working and what new ideas came out from this.

Kinga Polonska
Physical Educator
Brooklyn, N.Y.

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A version of this article appeared in the March 29, 2023 edition of Education Week as Schools Must Combine Exercise and Learning in the Classroom


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