Our trip this month to Beijing China was simply amazing.
Our personal tour guide and graduate student Jack helped us to see Beijing in a very local way. We learned more about the history of China than I could imagine. We ate the most interesting delicacies, watched elders do Tai Chi in the parks and were touched by the extraordinary graciousness of the Beijing people. The Great Wall was spectacular, it is not to be missed!
After four months of developing 5n45 the new cognitive-exercise manual to accompany C8Sciences ACTIVATE, we presented research on cognition and motor movement at the Beijing Sports University. Our colleagues were such a joy. Engaged, motivated and excited to do the progressive physical exercises, we laughed, danced and drummed our way to better attention, memory, and self-regulation. With deepest gratitude, I thank Bruce Wexler, MD and the Beijing Sports University students and professors for their hard work and interest in applying current research in neuroscience and kinesiology to children’s learning and behavior.
Here are a few highlights:
A growing body of research suggests a relationship between physical activity and the structure and functioning of the brain. Time spent in physical activity is related to enriched cognitive development, better attention, and academic achievement. In fact, physically fit children consistently outperform more inactive counterparts academically. Children who are more active demonstrate better on-task classroom behavior, greater ability to focus, and less absenteeism compared to their inactive peers.
See the students in a montage of activities. We thank Principal Diane Hale, her teachers and students at Tarwater Elementary School for their generous help in creating our training videos.
Research shows that:
A few research concepts intersect here:
1. Cognition is embodied. For the better part of this century, cognitive science has focused on the frontal lobes as the seat of cognition. Newer research including studies using fMRI and diffusion tensor imaging show that the body and brain work together as a symphony in service of neuroplasticity.
2. Subcortical structures including the cerebellum play an important role in cognition.
3. The brain and body are rhythmic.
4. We are musical.
5. Progressively increasing cognitive-motor demands likely improves attention, inhibition, and working memory.
While exercise and physical activity, in general, improve cardiovascular health, reduce obesity, prevent diabetes and improve self-esteem. A specific type of exercise, that which combines coordinated activity with cognitive demands has promise for improving executive function. With the help of our students, we have written over 100 cognitive-exercises to improve attention, inhibition, and memory. We look forward to teaching these exercises to educators, teachers, and school psychologists internationally in 2017-2018. Can’t attend a workshop? Learn about the activities on The Kinetic Classroom.
In 2019, we shall be teaching more than 30 cognitive and motor activities to enhance thinking, self-regulation, learning and behavior LIVE and online for CE. We shall teach you how to use many of the activities from Bloom, Musical Thinking and 70 Play Activities including, “What’s in it for me?” “The Purpose Circle” “The Love Notes” “The Little Jane Fonda” and more. Produced in easy to listen to videos with useful classroom handouts, this is an activity-filled webinar series designed to enliven and transform your work integrating current science, tools, and strategies. Sign-up to receive FREE activities and learn about upcoming events and webinars here.
Let us know how the activities go with your children and students on our Facebook page. We are interested in how you and your students grow with cognitive skill education and motor movement.