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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Final Part 1a&b

The video "Brain Gains" is found on the website CBC.ca, which is developed Canada. The story itself takes place at a school called City Park Collegiate in Saskatoon.
The news piece is quite interesting as it is about how teachers set up an exercise program for the students in order to achieve higher grades. The school is for more troublesome students for are not as capable as other students there own age, in addition to having behavioral problems. The program created at the school was aimed to help these students grow more brain cells and fixate behavioral problems.
The PE teacher at the school is not talked about, but PE programs in general are discussed. It is stated how the majority of students in PE classes do not participate and would rather just "chill" in class. The people who actually participate are athletes, but they are already active from their sports and do not need the class for health benefits. As a teacher, it will be important to find activities that everyone would be able to participate and benefit from. This program in particular seems to be a great idea locating at the outcomes from City Park Collegiate.
The main outcomes from the program were that the students' grades improved a whole letter grade and their behavior improved as well. Even though I have heard that students who participate in exercise are more successful in school, I was bit surprised by the results. These students were not motivated whatsoever and their behavior was distracting to everyone. These type of students generally become drop-outs and have trouble in life. I was proved wrong after seeing the success of this program became for them all. It is not just any physical activity that is supposed to give these benefits. The NYS PE standards do not get the same outcomes as this program has a specific set up. The exercise is sustained aerobic movement. The heart rate must be at 65% to 75% of the student's maximum heart rate and be held for 20 minutes. This exercise helps grow brain cells, which results in improved learning.
BDNF stands for brain derived neurotrophic factor, which is a protein that helps growth and differentiation of neurons. The "key" booked the exercise program was based on was Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain by John Ratey. He explains in the video that the students who benefit from the program become more attentive, less impulsive, and less fidgety, thus benefiting from the BDNF's.
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