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Category Archives: Featured Articles

Physical Activity and Academic Achievement

physical activity and Student Achievement

Physical Activity and Academic Achievement The evidence surrounding the link  between physical activity, physical fitness and academics is growing stronger and more abundant.  This page of articles, research students and information on the brain and

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School Recess: Why some love and others hate this American tradition.

The Today Show Poll- 99% of respondents support elementary school recess.

The school recess movement in Orange County, Florida is growing and even received national attention yesterday when The Today Show put out an elementary recess survey. The national survey shows that 99% of adults participating

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Recess isn’t just play time for children it’s time well spent

recess post

School recess holds a special place in the heart of the American public school student, according to the editorial in today’s Concord Monitor. Life Lessons Learned on the Playground However, beyond the love of recess,

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Playground Supervision: Ten Tips for Improving Playground Safety


By Melinda Bossenmeyer,  Ed.D. Playground Supervision Serious accidents which occur in schools typically happen on the playground, and often playground supervision is a contributing factor.  In fact, approximately 200,000 accidents each year send children to

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Discipline on the playground : A how to guide for supervisors

Discipline on the playground

Discipline On the Playground Discipline on the playground is a challenge at most school sites.   Most schools, however,  strictly enforce classroom rules and procedures in order to maintain a safe classroom environment for students. When

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Brain Breaks: Basic and Supercharged

Brain Breaks Post

Purpose of Brain Breaks Well designed Brain Breaks accomplish three purposes: 1) they refresh students, 2) they refocus students for learning and 3) they re-energize students. Every teacher has experience the glazed look from students

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Why School Recess Makes Kids Smarter

School Playground

According to second grader, Allison Rincand, her favorite activity at school,   “Recess because I get to play with my friends.”  Her response mirrors the majority of children in elementary school where over 80% of students

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Five Tips for Making Your Playground Kid Friendly

Five Tips to Improving your Playground

By Dr. Melinda Bossenmeyer I watched a less popular girl, Allison, walk up to a group of four girls who were playing a game of four-square. As she approached and asked, “Can I play?” she

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Physical Activity and the Brain

Physical activity and the brain infograhic

Why Active Kids Make Better Learners “Physical activity has dramatic effects on individuals’ physical mental health,” according to Charles Basch in his report, Healthier Students Make Better Learners. Put simply, educational outcomes are directly influenced

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Everything I learned in life I learned on the playground

girls on playground

I watched a less popular girl, Allison, walk up to a group of four girls who were playing a game of four-square. As she approached and asked, “Can I play?” she was quickly rebuffed. “The

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Physical activity : Making the case for kids moving more.

kids physically active

What is Physical Activity? Physical activity is any bodily exercise that enhances or maintains physical fitness and overall health or wellness. We think of physical activity as burning energy or calories. For health benefits, physical

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School Tools for Creating a Culture of Wellness

school lunch room

Schools play an important role in helping children to be healthy and fit.  A fast growing body of research indicates that student wellness and academic learning go hand-in-hand.  Put simply, the benefits that can arise

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Playground Stencils

Ourdoor Learning Lab

Roll-out playground stencils make application a breeze. No measuring! Just roll-out the full size playground stencils, chalk and paint. Brightly colored markings enhance motor skill development and provide activities for an outdoor motor learning lab

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60 Alternatives to Withholding Recess

withholding recess

Withholding Recess is Prohibited in 44% of School Districts Given the value of recess in a student’s physical and social development, and the need for periodic breaks from classroom instruction, withholding recess is prohibited in

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Physical Activity At School: Get A Move On

jump ropes

Low Cost Solutions to Getting Kids Active at School  Monday-Friday By Melinda Bossenmeyer, Ed.D. Children six years and older need a minimum of 60 minutes of physical activity a day. So physical activity at school

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Structured vs Unstructured Recess

4 Square- free play

Most Students Deserve An Unstructured Recess Experience Today I received a phone call from a second grade teacher. She indicated that she had a behavior challenged child (frequent discipline issues) and was growing pretty frustrated

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School Recess: When Is It Too Cold To Go Out To Recess?

Outdoor recess

Indoor or Outdoor Recess? When the weather outside is frightful school recess on the playground may not be delightful.  Just ask any playground supervisor. Outdoor recess however, is a reality and daily decisions about “how

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Eliminate School Recess? California State University San Marcos

school recess

Eliminate School Recess? Let’s Skip It! Melinda Bossenmeyer, Ed.D. California State University San Marcos Every decade or so educators stumble upon a really bad idea. The elimination of school recess is one such current example.

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School Playgrounds Can Be Safe

School Playground

School Safety Update – October 1998 National School Safety Center Pepperdine University – Malibu, CA “As a  playground supervisor at an elementary school for six years, grade school playgrounds are not for the meek!” says Janis

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Low Cost Playgrounds Can Result in High Levels of Activity


Low Cost High Activity School Playgrounds on the Rise Keep It Simple Simple playthings such as balls, jump ropes, hula hoops and riding toys, do more for encouraging physical activity on school playgrounds than swings,

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Recess is on the Upswing


America’s favorite pastime may be baseball but for children in school it’s definitely recess! Just ask a group of students their favorite subject in school and you’re sure to get a loud enthusiastic array of

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Recess Before Lunch

Recess Before Lunch

As you may know I’m a retired principal but I’d be the first to admit that changing the education system is a lot like turn a huge cruise ship in a small harbor. Possible but

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Case Study Could Shape Physical Education Across the Nation


  A professional perspective based on Case Study: Lessons from Los Angeles, in the Journal of Public Health Policy (2009) For years physical educators across the country have advocated for daily physical education for their

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Lessons Learned Educating a Community


Last summer, I spent 5 days in Baton Rouge, Louisiana during the height of summer, in a record setting heat wave painting playground games on the blacktop. One of those days it was a mere

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10 Rainy and Snow Day Activities for Indoor Recess


I remember well the dreaded “rainy days” at school. My staff often got as frustrated as the students with indoor activities or a general lack of activities when days of rain held students and staff

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Schools Role in the Childhood Obesity Crisis


First Lady Michelle Obama unveiled her strategy for tackling the nation’s childhood obesity crisis. Mrs. Obama’s initiative is called Let’s Move, and includes a website with tools and background on the initiative. Her speech was

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Why Bullying Programs Succeed or Fail


This is a poem written by Natalie, a high school student about bullying. I used to get bullied, and I didn’t know what to do  I wouldn’t want to come to school  I’d pretend I

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The Benefits of Physical Activity in Schools


The benefits of Physical Activity in Schools Most classrooms have at least one impulsive child and in my experience some classes have more than one. These impulsive children are frequently in trouble and display sincere

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Pedometers for Kids: Tracking Physical Activity


You can “count on” this tiny physical activity tool to keep track of your activity. According to the United States Surgeon General, “We have a health crisis affecting every city, state, community and school across

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School Wide Discipline : What works?


  In an election year, it is important to acknowledge that for approximately 20 years, the Annual Gallup Poll of the Public’s Attitudes toward the Public Schools has identified school wide discipline was one of

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Bullying Prevention: Life Lessons on Good and Evil


As you may know, last month I attended a gathering of like minded individuals called Hero Camp. During the Hero Camp discussions, I kept reflecting on how school mirrors society and schools are a laboratory

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How Teachers Should Respond to Bullying


Setting the stage for responding to bullying: First, it is important to acknowledge that students rarely bully victims in front of an adult. The chance of a teacher observing bullying is limited. Furthermore, research indicates

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Bullying & Harassment : What Schools Can Do


The Department of Education and U.S. Education Secretary, Arne Duncan, have taken an unprecedented step forward on the issue of School Safety and specifically, on bullying and discriminatory harassment. The Department of Education issued guidance

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Bullying Prevention: Is Empathy the Key?


As I observed my class the first week of school, one child stood out. The incident happened on the third day of school. Allie was a kindergarten student who learned that another child’s much loved

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Nutrition in Schools – Childhood Obesity


There is a public health crisis facing the United States and many countries around the world. Unlike so many public health crises resulting in disease, it can’t be cured by an inoculation. The disease has

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Healthy Food, Healthy Bodies Healthy Minds


Childhood obesity has taken center stage as children’s #1  health problem. Senators and Congressmen are joining forces and passing legislation for mandatory physical education and many states are reinstating recess. Pediatricians are attempting to advise

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School Gardens: Schools Teaching Organic Gardening


In this article we will look into the movement that is transforming the nation’s schools, the “Local Food Movement” via school gardens. Americans are facing epidemic levels of childhood on-set of diabetes, a disease which

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10 Tips for Healthy School Lunches


  Ideas for  Healthy School Lunches 1. Serve a Hot Meal Schools across the country are beginning to prepare hot meals on site making available healthier choices thus eliminating or reducing fried foods and junk

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Shortening the School Year Spreads


An alarming educational trend is spreading like wildfire across the nation due to our economic situation. More troubling is the fact that no one is talking about the effect of a shortened school year for

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Playground Liability: Accident or Injury


By Dr. Melinda Bossenmeyer Dr. Bossenmeyer is an expert witness on playground injury and playground supervision cases.  She is also a retired Elementary School  Principal. On average, 17 children die each year playing on playgrounds. Many

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Head Start Body Start in Body Building?


Sounds like a tiny tot gym for aspiring World Body Builders like California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, but instead it is a new federal program aimed at giving preschoolers a head start on future healthy behaviors and

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Nature Deficit Disorder: Does Your Child Ask “Are They Real”?


On a recent trip, my 6 year old granddaughter noticed some flowers on the counter in our hotel. Instinctively, she touched them, followed immediately by the question, “Are they real?” The question caused me to

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Why Play? The Importance of Play


For the generation of Americans that lived by the daily adage, “you must come inside when the street lights come on,” the importance of play was intuitive and occurred naturally in the course of everyday

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Can Physical Education Make You Smarter?


For some time, researchers have known that physical education and exercise changes the structure of the brain, resulting in improvements in concentration, fidgeting and creates new brain cells. The body-mind link is well documented. But

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Keeping Kids Cool at School

Boy Hot Recess

As most of the nation heads back to school facing triple digit heat, schools face the challenges associated with outdoor recess and overheated classrooms. Principals and physical educators will face daily decisions regarding children’s heat

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Countdown to Good Health and Nutrition: 5-4-3-2-1 Go!®


Who do you think has a greater influence as a role model on health and nutrition: a parent, teacher or young adults? The Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children (CLOCC), believes its young adults,

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