More physical activity in schools could spark an educational revolution in Utah

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  • DeepBreath West Jordan, UT
    Dec. 1, 2012 7:13 a.m.

    Schools teach what the people YOU elected tell them to teach. Period! Change your vote if you don't like what is being forced on teachers to teach your children. Teachers are employees of the state and do what they are mandated to do. It's time to point your fingers somewhere else. Understand how the system works before you throw thousands of exceptional educators under the bus.

  • Michael Dove Salinas, CA, CA
    Nov. 30, 2012 12:28 p.m.

    I suggest every school use the great free program for youth activity called Just Run. It includes physical activity and nutrition education and good citizenship. Just Run can be implemented in any school anywhere. The program raises fitnessgram scores and academic testing scores as well in schools that have adopted it. Last year almost 10,000 kids in 90 schools did it. Just Run is free and a superb program for pre-schoolers up through high school. Can be done as your entire P.E. program or at recess or breaks or before school or after school. It can be implemented by just one teacher or the entire school.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Nov. 30, 2012 10:49 a.m.

    If your daughter is bored already, you will do her a disservice by keeping her in the public school. Even charter schools are not much better because they attract a lot of kids that are exceptional and lots of kids with learning problems, so they suffer in the clasroom there too.

    My children were at about the same level that your daugher is at in Kindergarten. The public school system fails miserably for kids that are advanced in their learning. The public schools are geared to passing the NCLB tests. They don't learn much more.

    One thing you will find as your daughter gets older is that you will work with her on homework for 2 hours a night, and that is after having instruction for 7 hours. Then, you will have to re-teach what was not explained well in class. So, it will take 9 hours a day to educate your daughter in public school, but 3 hours for homeschooling.

  • Danny Chipman Lehi, UT
    Nov. 30, 2012 10:00 a.m.

    We lived in Mississippi before moving back to Utah, so homeschooling was a -very- serious consideration. MS and LA take turns being the worst in education in the U.S. every year. I home-schooled my daughter for preschool and would love to send her to a private school like Challenger, which I attended as a child, but because of economic reasons we decided to try out kindergarten at our local elementary school. I've mostly heard good spoken of it, but already my daughter comes home complaining of being bored with the schoolwork (she was reading at a second-grade level by the time we finished with "preschool", so it's understandable she's bored just learning her "letters").

    I agree, there's a lot of "social" behavior kids pick up from their classmates we can do just fine without. I'll keep considering the homeschool option; it's great there are lots of resources and co-ops available to parents these days. I'm sure between my husband's and my bachelor degrees, his master's and soon-to-be doctorate, we can at least get our kids up to high school.

  • AZgrandma Pomerene, AZ
    Nov. 29, 2012 8:28 p.m.

    Anyone out there remember "Chicken Fat"? In 1961, President Kennedy thought too many of America's youth were over-weight. Sound familiar? He instituted the Presidential Physical Fitness Award and even had an "exercise record" recorded and sent to every US school. I well remember doing "Chicken Fat" every day at Highland Park Elementary in 4th grade. Last month, I found "Chicken Fat" on YouTube and introduced it to the 5th grade class I work with. They love it and demand to do it every day before math lesson. It is only 6.5 minutes long. Any teacher should be able to fit that into their daily class schedule.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Nov. 29, 2012 7:12 p.m.

    Great comments. There needs to be greater balance between classroom, and play time. Child play is crucial, and improves learning. The concept of American freedom is enhanced with less micro managing.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Nov. 29, 2012 3:33 p.m.

    To "Danny Chipman" pull your child out of school now!! Your child will do much better being home schooled if you and are spouse are dedicated to ensuring that she is well educated. Schools pride themselves on teaching a lot of different subjects, but cannot spend the time to master any. For example, it is common now for kids in the 4th grade to not know their multiplication tables up to 12x12.

    Go to Timberdoodle or Alpha and Omega and get homeschooling.

    My 6 year old knows more about grammar than most 6th grade kids. Your child will benefit more than you realize if you are dedicated to teaching. Yes she will miss out on the "socialization", but how many potty jokes, teenage angst, and catty girls do you want to deal with? The homeschool teenagers I have spoken with are wonderful to talk to and don't roll their eyes when an adults address them.

  • Danny Chipman Lehi, UT
    Nov. 29, 2012 2:16 p.m.

    I'll be watching this legislation with interest as it develops. My oldest child is only in kindergarten, and they still have unstructured recess time on an outdoor playset. However, unless some drastic changes are made to the P.E. curriculum in the next few years, I'll seriously consider pulling her out for a home-schooled period of P.E., as my mom did with me. We went for walks, went rollerskating, swimming, or just jumped on the backyard trampoline.

    Oh, wait. Most of those are all no-nos now, according to the AAP. Too "dangerous".

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Nov. 29, 2012 12:54 p.m.

    To "As If!" it sounds like you have no control over your classroom. Aren't teachers responsible for the rules within their classrooms, and won't the Principal listen to you? Why can't you simply make a rule that during winter children must have appropriate clothing to play out side, and those who don't will have their parents called and informed that their child is not dressed for the weather and that clothing must be brought or the child will be given detention.

    Unless it is pouring rain, there is no reason to keep kids inside. Back in my day the months of inversion only meant that sliding down the hill was more fun.

    Children don't need more structured play time, they need time to be creatinve and to run and be kids.

  • As If! Layton, UT
    Nov. 29, 2012 11:15 a.m.

    Yankees 27: A lot of the children just stand around and you'ld be surprised at the amount of students who show up in flip flops. If recesses are to be effective, they need to be organized. Also, we keep the kids inside for many days if the weather is bad, including a bad inversion. Truly, most of the older kids just hang out around the doors or find excuses to come inside to use the bathroom. Drives teachers crazy. I have have many students even borrow my coat and shoes. If recesses are to be truly effective, as I have already stated, they need to have exercise stations with qualified adults, but we don't have the money for it. Bummer.

  • I-am-I South Jordan, UT
    Nov. 29, 2012 10:52 a.m.

    I think we should cur the school day in half, and structure our "hard sciences" and math to real world applications. I also think accounting and personal financial management should be required courses. I think math should be done away with as a stand alone subject, and should be taught in the context of finance, accounting, computer programing, and other other disciplines that will be useful and allow kids to learn to apply mathematics to more than just a conceptual world.

  • yankees27 Heber, Utah
    Nov. 29, 2012 9:35 a.m.

    As if!, Um, you don't need to ski or ride to exercise at school in the winter. I know, I grew up here. You allow kids to play on the snowhills, to run in the snow, to play king of the hill, or do what comes naturally to kids, and that's just get out and be creative. We are way too over protective of kids now days, we need to allow them to go out and play.

    Although my kids are active with after school activities like dance, tumbling, wrestling, etc., during the day they still need to get "let out of the cage" for a few recesses. As adults, who doesn't like to get out of the office and get some fresh air a few times during the day? Well, kids need that too!

    Impartial- LOL!, ya, I was the chubby one in my class, and I was like maybe a few pounds over weight. Luckily, because I was taught good nutrition and served good food by my mother, I never carried that past my teens, but you're right, now you see too many kids carrying an extra 10-20 pounds. Very sad!

  • cleancutmatt Provo, UT
    Nov. 29, 2012 9:09 a.m.

    In response to Worf, if today's schools existed back in the 1800's would we have computers, thus negating the need for the Airplane, lightbulb, and telephones?

  • SLC gal Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 29, 2012 7:17 a.m.

    I think the saddest part of this article is that the parents themselves are expected to oppose this legislation. It is not going to hurt your little darlings to move a little more. If my son were school age, I would hope his school would be one of the ones trying this out.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Nov. 28, 2012 11:54 p.m.

    Cut school days in half, and education will boom. Lesser is better then more.

    If today's schools existed in the 1800's, we wouldn't have the airplane, light bulb, telephones, etc.

  • As If! Layton, UT
    Nov. 28, 2012 10:43 p.m.

    When you have 35 sixth graders in a classroom, where do you have room to have them exercise? I grew up in California, so we could pretty much go outside year-round. Utah's weather does not favor year round exercise unless you can ski, snowboard, etc,... That has always been a problem for us teachers.

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    Nov. 28, 2012 8:52 p.m.

    Wow! It takes a study to show what schools recognized 40 years ago? That PE was for energizine metabolism & keeping kids moving? Remember when most classes had one "chubby" kid? 50% of today's kids would be considered chubby. Get them moving.

  • John C. C. Payson, UT
    Nov. 28, 2012 8:43 p.m.

    It's no revolution. We teachers have always known that students need physical activity during the school day. When testing mania swept over the schools we told administrators that cutting P.E was counter-productive. They didn't believe us. We have also insisted that allowing students to learn music and art helps in overall brain development.

    I guess we have to find some "expert" to present our common knowledge as a new idea.

  • Economist Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 28, 2012 6:47 p.m.

    I have a novel idea!! How about less time off for Seminary and more time On for the hard sciences and math?!?