by Carrie Brennan
Every morning since the first week of school, the 3rd-grade students in Mr. Hyland’s class have been starting their day in the gym playing running games that Mrs. Brennan has set up. The games are divided into 15-minute stations that combine cardiovascular fitness with practicing Math skills. One benefit that was evident from day one was that the students return to the classroom more focused and ready to start classroom activities.
The skills are practiced by using playing cards or dice (depending on the game) to work on Math facts and creating two, three, and four-digit numbers. Also, students practice finding greater/less than number combinations. There are research studies that have found a direct link between cardiovascular activities and an increase in cognitive skill development. Mr. Hyland will track their skill development via Math assessments to determine the effect that these morning activities have on students’ cognitive development.