How To Power Up In The Classroom: 12 Days Of Ideas #9
Simple, isn’t it?
I just spent 7 hours in the car driving to Chicago for Christmas.
I got good 7 ½ hours of sleep and felt rested this morning. We even stopped once to pee and eat.
We make that drive several times each year, and regardless of how excited I am by the prospect of seeing family and friends, I always have a moment or two when I get tired and sleepy. Thinking about it now, I realize that it must be because of the hours of sitting, blood flow to the brain restricted. Sitting and seemingly doing nothing. Mind gets stale. Sluggish. Sleepy.
Same thing happens to students in our classroom. Especially toward the end of the day. Most spend the whole class hour sitting. By hour number 6 many are done. Intense mental workout of school is one culprit. Restricted blood flow another.
I know they get 5 minutes of passing time. 55 minutes of sitting follows. I have a strong suspicion 5 minutes is not enough and 55 too long, and because we can’t extend the 5, let’s break up the 55…
Seriously! Structure class activities to promote movement. When classwork calls for a lot of sitting, ask students to stand up and stretch if they’ve been sitting for 20 minutes. Give the brains a break, while stimulating more blood flow to them. If you can get a jumping jack or two out of them, do it. More blood flow will follow.
Think about all the times you feel sluggish and sleepy after prolonged hours of sitting. C'mon. You know what I'm talking about. Now think about how reinvigorated you are after exercising. Right?
I know. Most of us don't teach Gym (BTW: I always dream about it!). Maybe, we can't play ball in our classroom, though I dare you to try it sometime. But, we can stand up and stretch. Take a deep 4 second breath. Air box with the imaginary bad guy in front of you. Do 5 jumping jacks...
30 seconds is all I'm asking. That ain't so bad is it? C'mon homie. POWER UP. Then go back to work reinvigorated.
You have the power to change the world. Use it often.