Renascence School Education News - private school

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

How to Keep Kids Active When the Temperature Drops Below Freezing

The Huffington Post – Edwin Moses

“As we head into the depths of winter in most parts of the country it’s easy for kids to fall into a troubling path of a sedentary and less active lifestyle due to the frigid temperatures outside. Even through the cold, kids need their daily exercise. According to the National Association of Sport and Physical Education, kids ages 5-12 should exercise for at least 60 minutes of each day, and this figure doesn’t take a break just because it’s cold outside. Therefore, there needs to be healthy options for kids to play inside and outside during the cold winter months…Adults need to take on the responsibility of setting up the opportunities for kids to get active during the winter months…We shouldn’t be fearful of the outdoors and should encourage kids to dress properly and play some games outside if the weather is conducive…We owe it to our children to create a strategic plan and coordinate efforts to make this time fun and healthy. The payoff will be huge in terms of the overall physical and mental well-being of the children.”(more)

Friday, January 23, 2015

The best way to support your child’s development? Let them lead the way

The Globe and Mail – Sara Smeaton

“The notion that we need to trust our kids and the process of growth and development is relevant long after our children are infants. We need to stay attuned to our kids so we can nurture the skills they are ready to focus on. Children will let us know when they are ready to learn something new because they will begin practising it all the time. It’s up to us to notice…The patience and openness needed to do this can be in conflict with our culture, which emphasizes and rewards pushing kids to excel earlier and faster…The best way we can help our children learn the right skill at the right time is by trusting that they know what they are ready for and supporting their efforts. Here are some guidelines (adapted from Active for Life’s Skills Builder tool) to help you support your child in creating a foundation she can keep building on. Being active will improve your child’s health, happiness and self-esteem. It will reduce the risk of injuries, stress, anxiety and depression. The key is to remember that the most important things cannot be rushed.”(more)

Monday, January 19, 2015

Letting kids move in class isn’t a break from learning. It IS learning.

The Washington Post – Valerie Strauss

“As an educator for the past 25 years, I’m delighted that our national conversations about teaching and learning are beginning to recognize that excellent instruction engages students intellectually, emotionally, and physically. We’ve come a long way in our understanding of the development of young minds. Yet despite research proving the lasting benefits of serious play, too many of our classrooms remain still, silent places, lacking any element of physical movement. It’s critical to maintain time for recess and free play that builds students’ balance systems (as powerfully described by Angela Hanscom), but we also need to emphasize the important role that physical movement can and should play within the classroom. Movement is a powerful teaching tool, and when we as teachers thoughtfully incorporate physical elements into instruction, we elevate the learning experience. As part of my work at Center for Inspired Teaching over the past 20 years, I train teachers to provide this type of active, student-centered instruction because it’s how students learn best.”(more)

Friday, January 16, 2015

Should elementary schools have recess? Some Florida parents fight for break

Today – Krista Brunson, Amy Eley & Scott Stump

“Some Florida parents are fighting for their child’s right to recess. Twenty-three elementary schools in Orange County, Florida, have been cutting back on recess, and even canceling it altogether to maximize class time. In a recent Orange County School Board meeting, parents asked that recess time be enforced in all local schools for all students…At the center of the issue in Florida are Common Core exams, mandatory standardized tests in math, language arts and literacy, where the students’ performance often dictates teachers’ pay and sometimes their jobs. Many teachers are using that extra 20 minutes that would have been spent on the playground at recess in order to teach the test.”(more)

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Julia Steiny: Only 1 in 12 Kids Has Normal Balance and Core Strength

Education News – Julia Steiny

“While working in classrooms of wriggly kids, Hanscom started seeing what she thought must be physical anomalies among them. So she solicited others to help her conduct research. To their horror, they found “that most of the children in the classroom had poor core strength and balance. In fact, we tested a few other classrooms and found that when compared to children from the early 1980s, only one out of twelve children had normal strength and balance.”…Young bodies learn to regulate balance by moving in every possible direction. This is why kids like to play with speed, twirl until they’re dizzy and fall down, dance, jump, swing, skip…The problem: children are constantly in an upright position these days. It is rare to find children rolling down hills, climbing trees, and spinning in circles just for fun. Merry-go-rounds and teeter-totters are a thing of the past. Recess times have shortened due to increasing educational demands, and children rarely play outdoors due to parental fears, liability issues, and the hectic schedules of modern-day society. Let’s face it: Children are not nearly moving enough, and it is really starting to become a problem.””(more)

Friday, December 26, 2014

Top 10 tips for happier, healthier families in 2015

Asbury Park Press – Jennifer Martin-Biggers

“Want the best for your family in 2015? Here are 10 tips for happier, healthier families!”(more)

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Five tips for students during winter break: Read, camp, build, go online, play

The Washington Post – Moriah Balingit

“For many young students, the toll of the bell on the last day of school before winter break means the beginning of holiday fun, presents and long, unstructured days. It can be a gleeful reprieve from hours in the classroom and daily homework assignments. But while the temptation for children might be to slump in front of a television or get lost in video games, some educators say it’s important to take steps to maintain what children learned in school while they’re taking a break from it. There have been studies that demonstrate children — particularly those who are disadvantaged — stand to lose a lot of academic ground over long summer breaks. It’s not clear that the same applies to winter break, but Brian Pick, chief of teaching and learning for D.C. Public Schools, pointed out that public schoolchildren in the District will be out 16 full days, including weekends, this year. “Certainly 16 days is a long amount of time when we would want students to do some work to maintain their academic progress,” he said…Here are some tips from educators and others who work with children about what families can do during winter break to prevent total educational atrophy:”(more)

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Consider giving the gift of free play

SF Gate – Jerry R. Salerno

“With the holiday shopping season in full swing, many of us with children in our lives will wonder what gift we can give that is meaningful yet fun. Ironically, the most valuable gift is already at your fingertips. It’s the gift of play — old-fashioned, free playtime. Free or unstructured play is dynamic, organic and child-directed. She or he plans the play, mixes the imaginary with the real world and creates a unique experience. Children who play freely develop intellectually, emotionally and socially. They learn to solve problems, negotiate with others and practice self-control.”(more)

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Holiday Toy Guide: Non-LEGO Blocks That Cultivate Better Building

Forbes – Jenn Choi

“I advise parents to invest in at least one building toy aside from their beloved LEGOs. Without a doubt, this investment will not only enhance a child’s skills in creativity, spatial reasoning, and problem-solving but also, this will help them build more and build better with any toy they own…The great thing about building toys is that kids can build them to use them for another purpose namely, storytelling. It’s as if there are two toys in one…Here are my favorite non-LEGO toys that I have divided into three easy categories:”(more)

Friday, November 28, 2014

Introducing a child to exercise is a lifelong investment

The Union-Bulletin – David Thorsnes

“The goal should be to make exercise a regular staple in the child’s day as they grow up…introduce them to a variety of different activities and see what piques their interest…The type of emotional bond developed with an activity will determine the likelihood a child will continue doing so.”(more)