Kinesthetic Kids

New Desks Aid Learning via Movement

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Educators at Charleston County schools, in South Carolina, know that more movement and exercise makes kids better learners, even as the amount of time devoted to physical education (PE) and recess has been declining sharply in the U.S.

“If you ask anyone in education if they prefer PE or class instruction, they say instruction every time,” says David Spurlock, coordinator of health, wellness and physical education for the Charleston County school district. “Yet, what we’re trying to show is that more movement equals better grades, behavior and bodies.”

Charles Pinckney Elementary School, in Charleston, employs Active Brains, a program that uses 15 stations through which students rotate during the class. Each station has a unique exercise component such as a mini-basketball hoop or an exercise bike, and is focused on a different academic task such as spelling or math flashcards. This is the first classroom in the U.S. equipped with only kinesthetic desks. The program has been in operation for three years and has a waiting list of students excited to try the new approach.

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