In order to effectively introduce PL concepts we suggest implementation in a way that’s meaningful and effective. Here are 5 essential elements of successful Physical Literacy programming.
You don’t have to reinvent the way you work with kids to incorporate Physical Literacy into your daily routine but you do need to change the way you value yourself.
That’s right YOU need to develop “the ability, balance, confidence, desire, and explorative nature to be healthy and active for life.” This can be as simple as making daily commitments to yourself with a walk, a healthy food choice, a mindful moment or a walk. Believe it- you will feel better! Even though it may feel like “one more thing to do”, you will actually have more energy.
You don’t have to change your routine to infuse physical literacy, you just have to learn to read your environment and bring Physical Literacy into your day.
For example, infusing BrainErgizers™ into the day between each transition can add at least 30 minutes of physical activity to each day.
A research project conducted with 24 elementary schools, called Physical Activity Across the Curriculum (PAAC), showed that adding sessions of physical activity to a school curriculum could have long-term benefits, such as improved academic performance. When comparing improvement in standardized test scores over three years, schools were stratified and randomly assigned to receive physically active lessons did 6 percent better than their peers who had received the same lessons in a seated, inactive manner.
Elementary teachers need the opportunity to develop their confidence to be physically literate alongside their students. This can be as simple as adding new words to your vocabulary like- ok let’s move around instead of let’s sit still and pay attention. It’s all about tweaking the lessons, activities, homework and language just enough to create an environment where Physical Literacy is a natural but effective part of the curriculum.
Like the saying goes, “there is no I in team.” While the benefits of Physical Literacy are singular the effects can have an impact on everyone around you. Getting all stakeholders involved can result in an even bigger impact. Walking with a team of teachers at lunch, or before school can make Physical Literacy even more fun. Combining classrooms for BrainErgizers
With Common Core, the drive for cross-curricular learning has become critical. Similarly, the skills developed through Physical Literacy need to be integrated. We could see a significant cultural shift if all teachers—art, music, reading, social studies, math and science—were able to spend some of their precious professional development time on Physical Literacy.
The principles of Physical Literacy- the ability to move with confidence and creativity in different physical environments, the desire and confidence to make choices that engage in physical activity and to make choices that enhance physical and social/emotional wellness- are the foundation for all disciplines.
School-wide Physical Literacy learning would enable teachers to work together to create a spiral experience that integrates PL concepts into every subject in a meaningful way.
While physical health is the result of physical literacy- we need to teach kids fundamental movement, mindfulness, and nutrition skills. At NAPLUSA they return balance to kids by reinforcing the concepts of food as fuel, sport as play, and mindfulness as happiness. Just like “the “T” in STEM stands for technology, but exposure to educational technology is not enough for true STEM learning. Exposing kids to tools like computers, iPads, e-readers and apps early on is important, but it’s only through guided learning that these tools become an important part of STEM education, argues Green.”
“We need to take a whole-child approach to teaching children about technology,” explains Green. “Teachers can help kids make connections across various technologies to real-world concepts simply by strategic questioning and guided learning, especially if they have had access to research-based STEM education and teacher training.”
So where do you begin? Physical Literacy (PL) will only continue to expand and grow. Now is the time to seek out professional development in PL and to start in small ways to make it a larger part of your approach to working with kids. With good resources and training, you can open up an entire world of Physical Literacy. Physical Literacy may change their futures.
Contact NAPLUSA for training, certification and curriculum