Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Exercise Breaks at School

And this one caught my eye. Will have to follow-up on the fact that this is being done in Ontario? I do remember reading an article a while ago where they were doing an experiment where they had children stand rather than sit in class in an effort to have them burn more calories. Then there is this post about encouraging figiting in clasrooms for the same reason. (Thanks to Fuse 8).

DATE: 2006.04.16
CATEGORY: National general news
PUBLICATION: cpw
WORD COUNT: 275

Man. school board wants to replace lunch and recess with exercise breaks

WINNIPEG (CP) _ Five Manitoba schools hope to be the first in the province to adopt a new system popular in Ontario that replaces recess and lunch with longer classes and extended exercise periods.

The Interlake School Division north of Winnipeg is seeking provincial approval to divide the day at the five schools into three 100-minute teaching slots, separated by two nutrition and exercise periods of 45 or 50 minutes apiece.

Called the balanced school day, the concept is used in more than 600 Ontario elementary schools.

It was devised during a brainstorming session at a small school northwest of Toronto among teachers trying to figure out ways of improving student literacy.

``If it's successful, we would likely bring all our elementary schools online for the following year,'' Interlake superintendent Darlene Dufily said Sunday.

Ontario teachers who are part of the program say that kids learn more in longer teaching slots. They also say that by having kids eat twice, they're not getting hungry in mid-morning, and are far more attentive late in the school day.

The two extended exercise periods give kids more activity than two short recesses and part of the lunch hour.

``Two nutrition breaks does not mean bring two big lunches. Eating smaller amounts more often will be healthier,'' Dufily said.

The 300 minutes of instructional time would be the same as the current day, which includes two 15-minute recesses.

But Dufily said teachers in Kenora, Ont. estimated they had been losing the equivalent of four-and-one-half days of class time a year by the hassle of having kids put on and take off winter clothing and boots twice a day for recess.

The five elementary schools hoping to adopt the program are in Balmoral, Argyle, Stony Mountain, Warren and Rosser, Dufily said.

The first nutrition and exercise break would start around 10:30 to 10:40 a.m. and run 45 or 50 minutes, the other around or shortly after 1 p.m.

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