Day 159 (of 184) Physical Literacy

Day 159 (of 184) Physical Literacy

The evolution of our school goal around anxiety led us first to working on Self Regulation (brain understanding & tool interventions) and now more specifically to Physical Literacy.
Our school goal is to use physical movement & ‘play’ to help students self-regulate and know what they can do when they don’t know what to do…


Why? In BC Anxiety & Stress are top ‘impactors’ and negative disrupters of learning. Approximately 5-6 in a class of 30

One of best ‘medicines’ is ‘exercise’ –> 20-30 minutes a day is optimal….kids we want 60 minutes a day (doesn’t have to ‘all at once’ – can be cumulative)

CLOSE tie in between physical literacy and self regulation – in ‘balancing’ we have more ‘stressors’ today, but doing less ‘movement’ to balance physical/emotional ‘needs’ of our body.

Hmmm walking meetings?


Stressful brains (anxious) burn up a LOT of energy – and the body only has ‘so much’ until they can refuel it – and exercise can help restore ‘drained bodies’ with more energy. This is especially true in the hippocampus – which is where learning & memory happen

IF A LEARNER (anxious) RUNS OUT OF ENERGY IN THEIR BRAIN THEY CANT LEARN – this quickly moves from a “won’t” (behaviour) mindset to a “can’t” mindset. Gotta let these learners (kids and adults) recharge. Take the time.


Movement breaks are GREAT but always finish with deep breathing to help refocus


Connection/Wonder: back in the ‘old days’ it took me about 20 minutes to walk to school – then we’d start learning. Many ‘behaviour kids’ were the ones who came in via bus or train (yes….a morning train from an outside community beyond our rural community). Now the majority of kids (including my own) have many days of ‘car service’ and minimal pre-school activity time…..and afternoons are ‘booked’ with ‘activities’ or scheduled ‘playdates’ …. Lack of unstructured play/boredom time & increased anxiety…..hmmmm


Exercise is key for brain movement & activity. Warning- new key term: BDNF
Brain derived neurotrophic factor –>


ANY MOVEMENT helps with attention, retention and regulation
Head & shoulders, green light red light etc

We have done good job at having things be fun, but also:
Perseverance & failing on way to success
Treat others as you want to be treated (the golden rule)

Physical Literacy PE framework
Dynamic warm up 5 mins
Moderate to vigorous activity 10 mins
Skill instruction 25-20 mins
Closing game 5 mins

Ideas for brain breaks:


Movement breaks: YouTube ‘just dance kids’ : Sid Shuffle & Despicable Me are great starters

School Wide activities: circuits, YouTube breaks at assemblies, morning hopscotch around school, bounce it the bell, but do not do the same activity too long. Change it up – no more than a week in a row!


Parting quotes:

Thomas Jefferson: leave all the afternoon for exercise and recreation, which arenas necessary as reading. I will rather say more necessary because health is worth more than learning.

Albert Einstein: life is like riding a bicycle. In order to keep your balance you must keep moving!

Some other videos we looked at: (benefits of cumulative exercise) (banning balls due to risk of injury) (adding exercise to a school full of frustrated learners)

Book recommendations:

Spark by John J Ratey –
Coming June 3: Go Wild (also by Ratey)

Some websites we talked about:


About technolandy

Principaling on the Pacific in Powell River BC Pushing 'technologization' in education: blending technology and curriculum seamlessly. Advocate for better understanding of Anxiety in Education (and use of self-regulation) Utilizing ePortfolios & Descriptive Feedback to personalize learning!
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s