About Heather Erwin

Heather is a Professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Promotion at the University of Kentucky. She is a former physical education teacher, and co-author of Dynamic Physical Education for Secondary School Children, 8ed. Heather was also the recipient of the NASPE Curriculum and Instruction Young Scholar Award and a AAHPERD Research Consortium Fellow.

Student Voices Related to Moving While Learning

If you’re reading this, you probably value your students’ perspectives and you are interested in offering physical activity opportunities for them. While many studies have been conducted to show support for classroom physical activity, most of them report on the amount of physical activity the breaks provide for students and/or how the physical activity relates [...]

By |2023-03-15T17:22:27+00:00March 15th, 2023|Categories: Teaching|0 Comments

5G: Motivating Teachers to Implement Movement Breaks

5G is the latest version of cellular technology, designed to increase the speed of wireless networks. Just as phones and cellular service companies need updates and means to improve their value, schools need different techniques to encourage teachers to offer (or offer more) movement breaks. If the motivation to allow students to do activity breaks [...]

By |2023-02-20T14:08:53+00:00February 20th, 2023|Categories: Classroom Activities|0 Comments

The Spacing Effect: Retain More Information using Activity Breaks

What if I told you that naps may actually help students retain information? It may seem counter-intuitive, but taking breaks has been shown to help people remember more. This concept is called the “spacing effect”. Much like how we learn best with sports skills, cognitive performance is improved if we provide multiple learning sessions with [...]

By |2023-02-20T14:00:56+00:00February 20th, 2023|Categories: Classroom Activities|0 Comments

4 Places to Implement Active Seating and Spaces

Let’s make your school a more inviting space for active seating! Here are four places where you can implement active seating and different ideas for each: Classroom – This one’s the obvious one. It’s likely your space, so you can arrange things however you want. Try active chairs with backs, wobbly chairs, stability balls, and different [...]

By |2023-02-20T13:45:41+00:00February 20th, 2023|Categories: Active and Flexible Seating|0 Comments

How to Refresh Your Classroom Space

Summer’s here! The new school year will start in August or September for most of us. Ready for a new and fresh space? Start with a mental inventory of your class seating by scanning the room and counting the number of spaces available for students to sit or stand while learning. A 1:1 seat to [...]

By |2022-06-30T18:22:47+00:00June 30th, 2022|Categories: Active and Flexible Seating, Active Classroom Management|0 Comments

4 Active Learning Activities for College Students

While the 10-minute limit on attention span for college students has not been effectively evinced, we do know there is an inverse relationship between the length of lecture and retention of material learned during that time. Additionally, Bradbury suggests that teachers matter more than the teaching format/length of the class. Thus, active learning at all [...]

Teacher’s Perspective: How Elementary Students Actually Respond to Active Classrooms

Teachers often fall along a continuum of integrating movement in their classrooms, ranging from fully comfortable to extremely hesitant, for a variety of reasons. It’s my goal, as a teacher educator, to try to move all pre-service and in-service teachers down the spectrum to the “fully comfortable” side. As part of a university class that [...]

Use Creative Brain Breaks for Easy Transitions

Miss Docheff gives her students the 2-minute countdown to let them know they will move to the next activity soon. She rings her bell three times, so they know to stop, look, and listen. Then, she points to the next activity written on the schedule board so they can orient themselves to the activities coming [...]

By |2022-03-30T15:16:48+00:00March 30th, 2022|Categories: Classroom Activities|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Incorporating Students with Special Needs into Movement Breaks

All students are special in their own ways. Some have more difficulty listening and following directions while others may struggle to move their bodies the way they want to. When you give your class the chance to move, it’s important to make activity as accessible to all students to the best extent possible. Often, it [...]

Fighting the Winter Blues with Classroom Physical Activity

Are “winter blues” really a thing? According to the NIH, it is a general term and not a medical diagnosis, however, winter blues may be connected to something specific such as the stress of the holidays or missing loved one. It has similar symptoms as those with season affective disorder, which is related to the shortening of daylight hours.   [...]

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