February 9, 2010 · 9:32 AM
Part 2: Rest Day Read (SR-8)
Fitness and the Brain
Yesterday’s article by Ms. Rodi talked about the basics of how the brain learns and presents four stimuli for learning, 1) Novel experiences prime the brain for learning the new information. 2) Repetition makes the learning permanent. 3) Complexity increase learning or more simply, we learn better with movement. Stimulation of the brain in multiple ways seems to make the neural connections stronger. 4) Hebb Rule – associate learning with positive stimuli, i.e make learning an enjoyable, positive experience. Note that “positive stimuli” does not mean it has to be EASY.
Today’s article by Debra Viadero from Education Week takes more of a look at exercise connected to learning in schools. The more I begin to learn on this subject, the more I want to visit our school board, district superintendent and school administrators and slap some sense into them. Why are we spending big dollars focusing on crap that is not working AND turning right around and cutting the relatively cheap programs that research shows helps increase academic performance? My hope is that you become motivated to contact said school officials and ask questions. Make them account for their decisions. Make them account for choosing to stay in the dark.
How to Build a Better Neural Highway? By Cyndi Rodi
“Complexity in movement engages the cognitive and motor areas of the brain in tandem. This facilitates more efficient and effective brain function that provides for better information processing and recall.”
Exercise Seen as Priming Pump for Students’ Academic Strides. By Debra Viadero
“Had the creators of No Child Left Behind looked at the data, they would’ve have realized that physical activity is good for the brain,” said Charles H. Hillman, an associate professor of kinesiology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
With his university colleague Darla M. Castelli, Mr. Hillman assessed the physical-fitness levels of 239 3rd and 5th graders from four Illinois elementary schools. Their findings published last year, in the Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, show that children who got good marks on two measures of physical fitness-those that gauge aerobic fitness and body-mass index-tended also to have higher scores on state exams in reading and mathematics. That relationship also held true regardless of children’s gender or socioeconomic differences.”
Will CrossFit Make American Kids Smarter? By Lisa Bakshi