Readings

Want to know more?  This list of books and downloadable articles can inform teachers about physical activity in students, providing background, supportive evidence, tips, and strategies for implementation.


SECTION 1: Downloadable Articles and Presentations


Active Education: Growing Evidence on Physical Activity and Academic Performance (Jan 2015)

Active Education: Physical Education, Physical Activity and Academic Performance (Fall 2007)

The Association between School-based Physical Activity, including Physical Education, and Academic Performance (Apr 2010)

This extensive review provides an overview of current research pertaining to the relationship between school-based physical activity and indicators of academic performance.

Building a Culture of Health Through Safe and Healthy Elementary School Recess (Feb 2017)

Do Short Physical Activity Breaks in the Classroom Work? (Feb 2013)

Educating the Student Body: Taking Physical Activity to School (May 2013)

This report is the presentation of findings and recommendations from a committee of experts who assessed the status of school-based physical activity, the effect of physical activity in students, and how schools can aid in increasing students’ activity levels.

Keeping Children Healthy: Recommendations for Promoting Physical Education and Physical Activity in Schools (Dec 2015)

Increasing Physical Activity Through Recess (Jan 2012)

Physical Fitness and the Positive Effects on School Climate and Student Achievement (Feb 2015)

This webcast, from the US Department of Education, is part of the Education Policy Briefing Series.

Reaching the Goal of 60 Minutes of Physical Activity for Children (Feb 2013)

School Health Guidelines to Promote Health Eating and Physical Activity (Sept 2011)

Time to Play: Recognizing the Benefits of Recess (Spring 2017)


SECTION 2: Books


Action-Packed Classrooms, K-5: Using Movement to Educate and Invigorate Learners (2009)

  • by Cathie Summerford (Link)
  • “Focusing on using movement and music to energize young students and boost their learning, this research-based book offers strategies for basic energizers, clear objectives for standards-aligned instruction, and a student/teacher/principal agreement to commit to active learning.” – Amazon

Brain Breaks for the Classroom: Quick and Easy Breathing and Movement Activities That Help Students Reenergize, Refocus, and Boost Brain Power-Anytime of the Day! (2009)

  • by Michelle Gay (Link)
  • “40 fun exercises help students take a quick break and return to their work refreshed and ready to learn. Each exercise is designed to get more oxygen and energy to students’ brains, improve their focus, and calm their nervous systems. The result: increased motivation, cooperation, and learning in the classroom. Includes a full-color poster with five easy moves all kids can do when they need a ‘brain break’! For use with Grades K–5.” – Amazon

Brain Gym: Teacher’s Edition (2010)

  • by Paul E. Dennison and Gail E. Dennison (Link)
  • “This is a stand-alone book for parents, teachers and learners who want in-depth descriptions and variations for the 26 Brain Gym activities.” – Amazon

Energizing Brain Breaks (2009)

  • by David U. Sladkey (Link)

Energizing Brain Breaks 2 (2011)

The Kinesthetic Classroom: Teaching and Learning Through Movement (2010)

  • by Traci Lengel and Mike Kuczala (Link)
  • “Research shows that regular physical activity helps children perform better in school. This inspiring book illustrates how to integrate movement within classroom instruction, ranging from short activity breaks to curriculum-enhancing games.” – Amazon

Learning on Your Feet: Incorporating Physical Activity into the K-8 Classroom (2016)

  • by Brad Johnson and Melody Jones (Link)
  • “In this much-needed book, you’ll learn how incorporating physical activity into the classroom can improve students’ engagement, achievement, and overall wellness. Students typically spend most of the day sitting at their desks, and many don’t have recess or PE, yet research shows that regular exercise helps stimulate brain function and improve skills such as reading, critical thinking, organization, and focus.” – Amazon

Moving INTO the Classroom (2018)

  • Stacia Miller and Suzanne Lindt, Eds (Link)
  • This textbook focuses on research in movement integration and the benefits of physical activity to the child’s physical, cognitive, emotional, and social development. It includes research on and suggestions for integrating movement into English-language arts, mathematics, science and social studies for lower and upper elementary students. Though the textbook is specifically aimed at elementary-level teachers, secondary teachers and pre-service teachers can modify the activities to fit their lessons as well. – Springer
Perceptual-Motor Activities for Children with Web Resource: An Evidence-Based Guide to Building Physical and Cognitive Skills (2011)
  • by Jill Johnstone and Molly Ramon (Link)
  • “…blueprint for improving perceptual-motor skills—the skills that require young learners to use their brains and their bodies together to accomplish tasks. When kids improve these skills, they not only improve their coordination and increase their body awareness but they also enhance their intellectual skills and gain a more positive self-image.” – Human Kinetics

Physical Activity and Educational Achievement: Insights from Exercise Neuroscience (2018)

  • edited by Romain Meeusen, Sabine Schaefer, Phillip Tomporowski, and Richard Bailey (Link)
  • “A growing body of research evidence suggests that physical activity can have a positive effect on educational achievement. This book examines a range of processes associated with physical activity that are of relevance to those working in education – including cognition, learning, memory, attention, mood, stress and mental health symptoms – and draws on the latest insights from exercise neuroscience to help explain the evidence.” – Amazon

Spark: the Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain (2008)

  • by John J. Ratey (Link)
  • “Did you know you can beat stress, lift your mood, fight memory loss, sharpen your intellect, and function better than ever simply by elevating your heart rate and breaking a sweat? The evidence is incontrovertible: aerobic exercise physically remodels our brains for peak performance.” – Amazon

Teaching with the Brain in Mind (2005)  – chap. 9: Movement and Learning

  • by Eric Jensen (Link)
  • “…[this] best-seller is loaded with ideas for how to improve student achievement and create a more effective classroom by applying brain research to your teaching. [It] translates the latest scientific findings into effective instructional strategies…” – Amazon

The Third Teacher: 79 Ways You Can Use Design to Transform Teaching and Learning (2010)

  • by OWP/P Architects, VS Furniture, & Bruce Mau Design (Link)
  • “Created by an international team of architects and designers concerned about our failing education system, [this book] explores the critical link between the school environment and how children learn…” – Amazon