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Academic Concepts and Physical Activity


Signature Assignment

Paris Rumback and Courtney Pacha

Course #25966

PPE 310: Health Literacy for Schools

Dr. William Hesse


Physical Fitness and Academic Performance

Physical activity is defined as any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that
requires energy and expenditure. Being physically active requires people to fit exercise into their
daily routines which then results in a large improvement of overall health. Living an active
lifestyle not only improves overall health, it also enhances the academic performance of most
children in school. Implementing physical activity into the academic classroom would not only
get the students moving, it would also enhance student engagement. Integrating physical
activity throughout the school day also increases cognitive function (Arizona
State University, 2012). The movement from an academic activity supports
continuous brain growth and development, which helps students understand and retain academic
concepts. The increase of activity breaks throughout the school day is shown to
increase their attention span as well as reduce disciplinary problems in
schools (The Active and Healthy Schools Video, MU Extension). A teacher that
gets students moving in the classroom will benefit in ways such as less disciplinary issues, less
trips to the bathroom, less trips to the nurse, and more engagement in learning activities. The
more they practice physical activity, the better the chance is that they will apply what they have
learned and infuse it into their daily routines. The hope is that students will adapt to healthy
concepts and continue to make healthy decisions for a lifetime of great health benefits. Thats
where this program comes in. The program is called the Lets Get Physical Movement. This
movement incudes educating all the teachers at Highland Lakes Elementary Schools on the
importance of how meeting the daily goal of 60 minutes of physical activity will benefit them
and their students. By getting the teachers and school staff on board with physical activity in the
classroom, the goal for students becoming physically and cognitively fit will hopefully be met.
Review of Current Literature

Physical Fitness and Academic Performance

The study of Classroom Teachers' Perceptions of the Impact of Barriers to Teaching

Physical Education on the Quality of Physical Education Programs questions whether or not
physical activity is being taught efficiently in schools. This study surveyed over 30 teachers on if
they believe that physical education is being taught and implemented well in physical education
class. The results indicated that teachers did not believe that the students were receiving efficient
education regarding the importance of physical activity and not taught how to implement it in
their daily routines. The major adverse effects of these barriers were evident in reduced time
spent teaching physical education and delivering physical education lessons of questionable
quality (Morgan P, 2008). Most teachers addressed their desire to not have a physical education
program so that they have more time in the classrooms and more time to infuse physical
education into their own lessons in a more efficient way.
In the article Classroom Teachers and the Challenges of Delivering Quality Physical
Education, studies show that they also observed that the physical education programs are
lacking in quality. After assisting one school with their specialist program, they illustrated how
children benefit from educationally sound and well-planned programs (Delivering Quality
Physical Education, 2005). With this information, its is proven that by investing in a physical
activity plan, the physical education of students will drastically improve.
The study, Real-time Teacherstudent Interactions: A Dynamic Systems Approach",
explain that Good relationships between teachers and students are important for student
motivation, their academic achievement (Penning, 2014). When you have a good relationship
with your students, you not only have control, you prove that you care for the students and would
do anything for them. Poor teacherstudent relationships are related to classroom management
issues and are an important reason for teachers leaving the profession (Penning, 2014). The

Physical Fitness and Academic Performance

lesson to be learned within this study is that, if the teachers themselves do not have a healthy and
positive relationship with their students, then how can they expect their students to interact with
one another in a positive way?
In the web article Research Matters - to the Science Teacher, they discuss the
importance of student interaction during the academic school day. Having students work together
cooperatively is much more powerful than having students work alone, competitively or
individually (NARST, 2016). The positive effects of cooperative learning in science go beyond
the immediate gains in achievement, motivation, self-esteem and acceptance of difference.
Students learning in cooperative goal structure also develop skills in communication, leadership
and conflict resolution that are basic to productive, working teams (NARST, 2016).
The Journal of Education and Behavior did a study on: Brain Breaks: Physical Activity
in the Classroom for Elementary School Children. In this study, they had physical activity
breaks being demonstrated by Oregon University to determine if the results would be beneficial
to student learning and behavior. They define Brain Breaks as short segments of physical activity
breaks (Bobe, 2014). Their segments were divided into strength, endurance, relaxation and
stretching activities that were done in classrooms between instruction. These were done by
following physical demonstrated videos on a DVD. Results showed that Brain Breaks were
effective in increasing physical activity in elementary school children during classroom
education (Bobe, 2014).
School context
Highland Lakes is a pre-K through 8 grade public school with 1,067 students actively
enrolled. 24.6 percent of students attending Highland lakes are receiving free or reduced lunch.
Highland Lakes is not identified as a title one school. This school is a grade A school and is

Physical Fitness and Academic Performance

known as the renaissance school, attracting the gifted students of Deer Valley. According to
Schooldigger.com the teacher to students ratio is 17:1, however from my observations, most
classes have an average of 25 students per classroom. On average, the students of highland lakes
78.1 percent identify as Caucasian, 4.7 percent as African American, 11.4 percent Hispanic, 4.5
percent Asian, and 1.2 percent Indian (Schooldigger.com, 2016).
Synthesis of Current Literature
All literature suggests that including physical activity and social interaction in the
classroom is a huge benefit to the academic success and well being of each student. When
students are constantly moving, they are allowing their brains to work in its fullest capacity
giving each student that opportunity to learn to their highest potential. Classrooms that involve
physical activity in the classroom compared to classrooms that have no physical activity show a
significant difference in student interactions, teacher to student relationships, academic growth,
and appropriate behaviors. The literature also that suggests students that receive physical activity
in the classroom receive higher academic standings than classrooms that dont.
All articles point to physical activity in the classroom motivating students to participate and
wanting to attend school. Lets face it, most students do not want to come to class everyday to sit
in a chair for hours working quietly and independently. It is the teachers job to hook the students
in and motivate them to come to class everyday. By pre-planning fun activities that help them
learn and keep them active, the students will be running to school everyday.
By adopting physical activity into the classroom, and teaching the students the
importance of an active lifestyles in all academic areas; teachers would be setting their students
up for success in more ways than one. We are going to do this by first marketing this concept to
our school admin and students using posters and school announcements. We then want to get the

Physical Fitness and Academic Performance

parents involved by hosting parent meetings and family events. Promoting physical activity can
be very low cost; however, if needed, funding can be done by facilitating school fundraisers and
collecting donations. Once we get the support we need, it is up to the classroom teachers to take
action and get their students active. They can even have incentives for the students such awards
to be recognized for their cooperation. We feel as if once these actions are implemented, the
teachers and students will be motivated to get active!
Practical Implications
To start implementing Get Physical at Highland Lakes Elementary School we have to
get the word out. In order to get the word out there has to be marketing. (Appendix A) The
posters that are created will be around the school for everyone to see. The students will be given
a flyer to take home and share with their parents. The school and teachers will make daily
announcements about this program. The next one is called the Spring break challenge, this
program will be implemented before the students go on spring break. There will be posters
(Appendix B) posted around the school and sent home. There will be daily announcements made
for this one too. The benefits to this program are getting the teachers, students, and community
involved. The students will receive a free I survived spring break challenge shirt at the end of
the activity.
Parent Workshops
The next step to implementing this program is to get the parents involved. We will
achieve parent involvement by providing workshops for the parents. At these workshops the
parents will learn the importance of living a healthy lifestyle. They will learn about different
physical activities that they can do at home and ways to motivate their child to be active daily.

Physical Fitness and Academic Performance

During these meetings the parents will have the opportunity to become part of the PTA and get
At this time the parents can donate money to the school for the program and or get
involved with the program. They will have an opportunity to come up with ways to raise money
for the school and the implementation of this program. This is a great way to get parents
involved and have them see the benefits of it. This will pull the community together and build a
strong foundation for the school and students.
Teaching health and fitness curriculum in classroom
The third way we will achieve the goal of our school becoming a physical campus is by
involving physical activity in the classroom. This can be done with brain breaks, which get the
students moving for a short period of time. In the classroom the teachers can provide their
students with examples of a healthy and active lifestyle. The teacher will set a goal for their class
and the amount of physical activity minutes that they should earn in a week. When the class
reaches this goal then they are able to earn an extra thirty minutes of recess for the following
week. This gets the students excited to participate in physical activity and when it comes time for
the Spring break challenge then they are likely to want to participate.
Student Engagement
Lastly, for most students there has to be a reward for them to want to get involved in
anything and try their best. For the spring break challenge, which is the big event at the school,
the students will earn a free shirt and certificate for their hard work. The students will also have a
chance to win healthy prizes from local businesses. This will definitely spark the students

Physical Fitness and Academic Performance

interest and want them participate. Our overall goal is to get the students excited about being
active and want to live a healthy lifestyle.
What are some ways that we can get local businesses to donate prizes to us and are there
different marketing strategies approaches we could implement?
We all know that sitting in our seats all day, hearing a teacher talk can
put us asleep so why do we do it to our students? With the Get Physical
implementation, our teachers and students will be able to move around more
than ever. We know that physical activity in everyday can have a substantial
affect on our students academic success, and a healthy impact in their life.
Every school needs to be discussing the importance of physical activity
in the classroom. Brain breaks, extra recess, and even special events can
lead out students in the right direction. Holding monthly workshops for
parents, students, and staff will keep them reminded of the importance of a
healthy lifestyle.
In one year after implementing the Get Physical program seventy
five percent of our students will have participated. This includes the spring
break challenge. The first year of the spring break challenge with be the year
that the school figures out what they need to improve on or keep the same.
The students will pledge to live a healthy lifestyle and be rewards for
finishing the challenge. The third year of the program eighty five percent of
students will have participated. Not only will we have a spring break
challenge, but we will also do a winter maze challenge. This will get the

Physical Fitness and Academic Performance

students to become more active after coming back from winter break. Again,
the students will pledge but the prizes will get better. We will be working with
the local community more for the third year and even asking them to
volunteer as helpers. By the fifth year of this program we want one
hundred percent participation from out students and staff. Not only will we
have both the spring break and winter challenge, but we will be having grade
level challenges monthly to get the student and staff motivated.

Arizona State University (2012). Comprehensive School Health Programs: A

Framework. Retrieved from http://asu-

Bobe, G. (2014). Brain Breaks: Physical Activity in the Classroom for Elementary School
Children. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 46(4), S141. Retrieved from
Commun, S. (2010, May 13). Active and Healthy Schools (MU Extension).
Retrieved January 21, 2016, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?
Decorby, K., Halas, J., Dixon, S., Wintrup, L., & Janzen, H. (2005). Classroom Teachers and the
Challenges of Delivering Quality Physical Education. The Journal of Educational
Research, 98(4), 208-221. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
Kibbe, D. L. (1972). Ten Years of TAKE 10!.sup.[R]: Integrating physical activity
with academic concepts in elementary school classrooms. Preventive

Physical Fitness and Academic Performance


Medicine, 52, S43-S50. Retrieved from

Morgan, P. (2008). Classroom Teachers' Perceptions of the Impact of Barriers to Teaching
Physical Education on the Quality of Physical Education Programs. Research Quarterly
for Exercise and Sport Rqes, 79(4). Retrieved February 14, 2016.
Penning, Helena J. "Real-time Teacherstudent Interactions: A Dynamic Systems Approach."
Science Direct. Teaching and Teacher Education, 01 Jan. 2014. Web. 14 Feb. 2016.

Appendix A

Physical Fitness and Academic Performance

Appendix B


Physical Fitness and Academic Performance


Physical Fitness and Academic Performance

Appendix C


Physical Fitness and Academic Performance

Appendix D


Physical Fitness and Academic Performance



Physical Fitness and Academic Performance

Signature Assignment Rubric


(5) Exemplary
(4) Highly
(3) Proficient
(97 100%)
(83 92%)
(93 96%)
Fitness and Academic Performance
10 Points
Brief outline
Brief outline
with at least 5 with some
In(Alread outline with at original peer
references but
least 5
not 5 original
submitted original peer
peer reviewed
for points) reviewed
written in
APA format is written in
written in
APA format
APA format is
are submitted.
with a
selected to
embed the
5 x 2=10
10 Points
Introducti Introduction
on to the
is fully
is fully
topic and developed,
with all topics
(In your
introduces all
statement topics, created
a plan for the
introduce paper and
invites the
subtopics) reader to read
1c,k; 5k;
9f; 10h
5 x 2=10
3a,d; 4a,c
Literature Review
Adequacy 1. Literature
Knowledg highlights

15 Points
1. Literature

(73 82%)

and below) 17

Brief outline
No outline
with one or no was

is addressed
organized and
created a plan
for the paper.

Introduction is Introduction is
omitted or
and did not
create a plan
for the paper.

1. Literature
review may
address major

1. Literature
review does
not address

1. Literature
review does
not have the

Physical Fitness and Academic Performance