Active Living Research found that participating in physical activity during lesson breaks can help improve students’ on-task behavior and some measures of health, yet educators are sometimes at a loss on how to seamlessly incorporate physical activity into their lessons. SPARK, provider of the world’s most-researched physical education (PE) program, has added five-minute Fast Break Videos to its Classroom Activity & Recess program, SPARKabc’s. The Fast Break Videos provide educators with a quick and visual tool for getting students active in-between lessons, allowing them to expel excess energy and refocus for the coming task.
The Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE America) suggests that students should receive a total of 60 minutes of physical activity daily. Despite the recommendation, the Education and Health in Schools survey conducted by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation revealed that parents are dissatisfied with the amount of physical activity their child receives in school. More than a quarter of parents surveyed gave their child’s school a grade of C or lower in providing time for physical activity and almost 70 percent of parents reported that their child’s school does not provide daily PE classes. These lapses in physical fitness suggest that schools are doing little to help students reach the 60-minute per day recommendation.
Fast Break Videos, and other physical activity instructional breaks, provide an additional opportunity for students to reach their 60-minute per day physical activity goal. Teachers using SPARKabc’s can access the five-minute videos by logging into their account at www.SPARKabcs.org. Using a computer-connected projector, the entire class can watch demonstrations of both stationary and mobile exercises and count down with the activity timer. The activities include classic exercises like wall sits and lunges, in addition to more creative activities like body-builder poses and invisible weight lifting, all of which can be completed in any classroom.
All SPARK activities are designed to be more inclusive, active and fun than traditional PE classes. SPARK lessons incorporate student-directed learning, differentiated instruction and sports education to motivate students to participate and develop a lifelong love of activity. SPARK has been proven to work with PE specialists, as well as classroom and after school teachers, thus providing more opportunities for students to be physically active during the day.
For more information about SPARK, visit www.sparkpe.org.
SPARK is a collection of research-based Physical Education, After School, Early Childhood, and Coordinated School Health programs for educators serving Pre-K through 12th grade students. Since 1989, SPARK has provided curriculum materials, teacher training, and consultation to over 100,000 teachers and youth leaders, representing many thousands of schools, organizations, and agencies worldwide. SPARK also helps educators find physical education grants. For more information on SPARK, visit www.sparkpe.org or email spark(at)sparkpe(dot)org or call 1-800-SPARK-PE.