Roland School helps kids fight fidgety in class

Roland School helps kids fight fidgety in class, Iryna Chyrkova

Roland School principal Brandy Chevalier said that his school has a special colourful activity map on the floor.

"We are very focused on making sure our kids are learning both numeracy and literacy but also being mindful of their whole bodies and wellness, and wellness as a whole being." - the principal explained.

At the moment, most Canadian schools offer students physical education classes several times a week to maintain their health. However, this school is special - children at any time can run, jump, crawl on a special map on the floor in the corridor to get rid of hyperactivity, or vice versa when they need to overcome drowsiness or self-doubt.

Every day children go their way on the map. If the teacher sees that the child is too excited, he sends him to play on the map, for example, some children love to stomp on bugs or to crawl on the flowers, and the result is very exciting.

"Really helps me calm down when I'm in a very active position … It's just helps me burn some energy," Caleb says, adding his favourite activity is the frog jump.

One of the school teachers explains how this helps the kids. "They feel like they burned some energy. They feel ready to sit down and to get down to work. They can focus a little bit better."

According to recent studies, Canadian residents move very little in their lives:

about 13% of children of preschool age and about 10% of children over 7 years old are physically active according to the norms of Canada Health. For adults, the situation is even worse - only 8% of Canadians spend the right amount of time on sports. However, the figures vary in people over 65. They have more free time and more than 14% of the population of this age group is very physically active.

"Our society has to change. Our valuing of movement has to change, in our workplace, in our schools, where movement will be as important as reading and writing," Dean Kriellaars from University of Manitoba says.

Chevalier sees a strong future for movement programs in schools. "I think a lot of schools are embracing opportunity for choice in seating in the classrooms, and this just directly complements that concept."

Chevalier also said that school principals and teachers should discuss what the kids need and what is necessary for them together with the occupational therapist. Only in this way it is possible to find the best approach. 

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Roland School colourful activity map physical education
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