At the heart of physical education is movement and procedural memory. But how can I further apply what I have learned about using movement to teach declarative knowledge? And more importantly, how can I work to create connections with other disciplines in an effort to help them "move their content" for increased motivation and learning.
Procedural Memory, Movement & Exercise
We store memories in the brain and the body. Procedural memory is the long-term memory of how to do things. It’s the memory we call upon to physically carry out a sequence of steps. You use it when you ride your bike or play a song on an instrument. Movement can also be used to teach new material and review for better retrieval. Physical exercise actually builds the infrastructure of learning which will result in more brain cells!!
Three Books That Should Be Read By Every Teacher
SPARK - The Revolutionary Science of Exercise and the Brain by John Ratey, MD with Eric Hagerman is a must for all educators but it should be #1 on any physical educator's list of things to read. If you don't know the story of physical education in Naperville, Illinois and the basics of how exercise affects learning and the brain you and your students are missing out.
Brain Rules - by John Medina is a great resource for educators. It's fun to read and provides great information on how the brain works without getting too deep into the science. It gives great, easy to understand examples.
Smart Moves - Why Learning Isn't All In Your Head by Carla Hannaford & Carla Hannaford, Ph.D. delves into the science supporting the brain-body connection of all learning. If SPARK is #1 on your reading list, Smart Moves should be #2. Lots of food for thought for physical education and regular education teachers. The section on play, television and how it relates to the developing brain is eye opening.