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Friday, October 17, 2014

The right — and surprisingly wrong — ways to get kids to sit still in class

The Washington Post – Valerie Strauss, Angela Hanscom

“They [children] need authentic play experiences that get them moving in all different directions in order to stimulate the little hair cells found in the vestibular complex (located in the inner ear). If children do this on a regular basis and for a significant amount of time, then (and only then) will they experience the necessary changes needed to effectively develop the balance system–leading to better attention and learning in the classroom.” (more)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Technology-addicted kids and Nature Deficit Disorder

Lansing State Journal – Brendan Dwyer

“From preschool to the teen years, research shows children who spend time outside are happier, healthier and smarter. But despite these critical findings, a study at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research showed that children under 13 spend 30-minutes or less per week in unstructured play time outdoors.” (more)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Playground Swings Banned in Spokane, Following National Trend

Education News – Kristin Decarr

“Playground swings may soon become a thing of the past for a school district in Washington state — the latest in a nationwide trend of schools riling parents while increasing safety…Schools are feeling pressure by insurance companies to remove the equipment…” (more)

Two hours of physical exercise per week could make your child smarter

TheHealthSite – Editorial Team

“A new study has revealed that just two hours of extra physical activity each week can improve school performance…According to Dr John Rately…an active child’s brain develops much better than one who is not.” (more)

Friday, October 10, 2014

Research Says Exercise Boosts Executive Skills: Top Ten Toys for Smart Bodies and Smarter Minds

Forbes – Jenn Choi

“In a world that is filled with brain training apps, memory boost programs, and even test prep centers for four year olds, it is rather refreshing to see scientific studies still supporting good old fashioned run-around time…parents and schools can still support children by offering them thoughtfully-designed toys that maximize movement and fun. These are some of my favorite tools that train the body and the mind.” (more)

Play, Informal Learning Cultivate Kids’ Interest in STEM

Scientific American – Ben Rosner

“The process of trial and error, overcoming frustrations and making repeated attempts can be the same for mastering a language or understanding science. When you’re driven by curiosity, you’ll be surprised at your ability to come up with unimagined and perhaps unimaginable ways to solve a complex problem.” (more)

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

How Exercise Can Boost Young Brains

The New York Times – Gretchen Reynolds

“Encourage young boys and girls to run, jump, squeal, hop and chase after each other or after erratically kicked balls, and you can substantially improve their ability to think, according to the most ambitious study ever conducted of physical activity and cognitive performance in children.” (more)

Friday, October 3, 2014

Boosting brain development

Michigan State University Extension – Kendra Moyses

“Children’s brains develop rapidly during their early years…Preschoolers are expanding their skills and abilities by trying new things…During this time, it is important that parents and caregivers give children opportunities to practice these new skills and allow children unscheduled playtime to explore their world…Here are some fun ways from Michigan State University Extension that you can use to help boost your child’s brain development.” (more)

Friday, September 26, 2014

‘Motor’ musts for every child

Herald Review – Tiffany Madsen

“Legos and playgrounds are for busy children that need things to capture their attention and use up energy, right? Wrong!…When children are playing on a playground, playing a sport, dancing or riding a bike, they are building and learning large muscles and large motor control. When children are playing Legos, dressing Barbies, buttoning and zipping clothes, drawing or playing Playdoh, they are building and learning fine motor and fine motor control…Parents just need the information and tools to recognize how to help…” (more)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

How can we engage all learners? Let students play

E-School News – Suzi Wilczynski

“When students are put in an environment in which they can learn their own way without fear, they become lifelong independent learners.” (more)