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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Ryan Elsasser Final

The website is from the, The National. It is from Canada on the North American continent. The city/state that the story is from is Saskatoon.
I think this news article is very interesting. In one of the school classes, the teacher decided to add running and biking on machines into the daily curriculum. The students in this class suffered from learning disabilities, one being ADD. It is interesting to see how much this method has improved grades and student’s attention. Prior to watching the video, I felt that fitness in the classroom would help students’ grades however I was not aware of the biological effects on the brain and functions of students with learning disabilities. I found it very interesting to see how exercising can have a biological effect in the brain to help these students pay attention, focus, and learn for extended periods of time. There is no mention about the PE program because students haven’t been participating in the course. The course mainly entails the students standing around and not getting much activity time in which everyone is moving. The program was probably unsuccessful in its ability to work with and get the children involved. One way that I will ensure my PE program will benefit the students and faculty of the school is to incorporate activities that will further learning in other classes as well as my own. I will try my hardest to get the students involved so everyone will participate. It is important for physical education programs to have a high percentage of activity for all the students throughout the class period. With incorporating other subjects such as Math, History, English, and of course nutrition, into the activities in class, there will be an increased level of understanding outside of the gymnasium. In some cases, students may be able to understand certain topics and subjects through activity and hands on learning. This will also help other teachers in the school work with their students. The main outcome of this program is improvements in students in both academics and behavior. The documentary states that students would increase their attention time from a few minutes to a few hours. The students who previously were learning at half a grade level per year had advanced to a full grade level per year. Some of the standards of this program are similar to our New York State PE standards. Standard 4 uses fitness and elevated HR prior to doing coursework. Standard 5 includes a great increase in students learning as well as their lives. Standard 1 entails that the teacher understands how the body works and the advantages of exercise on the brain. The effects of this program and the increased motivation and excitement for learning were a result of exercise. This is clearly demonstrated in this documentary. BDNF is a protein known as Brain-derived neurotrophic factor. This is important in learning, memory, and higher thinking. It encourages growth and differentiation of neurons and synapses.

Brain Gain
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