Our school is testing out a new way to incorporate more physical activity breaks into the school day. We are piloting a program called Power Play where students are getting an extra break somewhere in the day, in addition to recess and PE, where they can get a physical activity break and interact with one another. Activities range from outdoor nature walks to class games to free play where kids can come up with their own games to play with their friends. This has really helped on our campus to break up some of the long stretches of class time that kids would normally have to sit and focus for a time that is just too long for their little minds. Getting that 15-20 minute break has really helped with concentration and students being able to focus more.
How did students and adults work together as a team?
This is a pilot program, but we are feeling the great effects already from it and hope to continue it in the future, modifying it a bit. Right now, the breaks are scheduled into the day, usually during the long stretch when recess or specials time is not in there to break the time up. In the future, we’d like to have it be a bit more flexible on the teacher’s end to incorporate it when they feel like their class needs it the most, which could vary from day to day.
What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?
A big challenge was getting teachers on board with losing instructional time in exchange for Power Play time. We all know how much teachers are required to pack into their lessons and many teachers were concerned with losing this time during an already busy day. Once teachers saw how much it helped with students being able to focus, it helped them get on board with the concept.
What improvements have you seen at your school?
There is definitely an improvement in the focus of students after Power Play. Also, it has helped build class moral and friendships and the kids are given more time to freely interact with each other.