Exercise and the Brain

The way you measure a society’s soul is by the way that it treats its children.
Nelson Mandela

Issue No. 112 – 17th November 2011

Welcome to Kidz Newz especially to all new subscribers. Kidz Newz is a regular newsletter with information and teaching tips for anyone involved with young children. You are receiving this because you have attended one of my workshops, purchased a book, or you have requested to be on the mailing list. Thank you. Please forward this to anyone you feel it may be of interest to. Feedback is welcome.

PD Update

Apologies to those who have wanted to attend a PD but I wasn’t presenting in your area. I now have a solution. I have a recorded session based on the very popular workshop ‘Let’s Get Physical’ which is being edited now. I have to get music copyright permissions through but I expect these DVDs to be available for start of term in 2012. Register your interest in this product by emailing info@kidzfizbiz.com and keep an eye on the newsletter. I’ll keep you posted.

Exercise and the Brain

I have just finished reading this month’s newsletter ‘The Missile’ from Move to Learn. In it they laud the publication of a new book called SPARK – The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain – By John J Ratey MD. We all know that exercise is good for us, and for those of us involved in motor co-ordination in children, that exercise is what helps to develop the brain, not just the body. Here’s an excerpt from the article:

“This is an exciting new book by John J. Ratey, M.D. with Eric Hagerman citing many studies exploring the benefits of exercise for our brains and for our ability to learn. Nothing new to us, of course, but it’s always great to see what we know to be true confirmed by properly conducted research studies. As Sue Larter once said, do what works, studies will follow. Well, here are some great studies. The first case study is a PE program instituted by physical education teacher, Phil Lawler, in Naperville, Illinois school district 203. Students here are instructed on how to monitor their own health and are encouraged to move rather than sit still in front of a TV set.

They were graded on effort rather than skill and were encouraged to keep their hearts in aerobic training range (70-80% of maximum heart rate), rather than to strive for world records. It was found that apart from improved fitness, the students also got better grades and struggling students who participated in gym before school improved significantly.

According to Ratey, this is because “the relationship between food, physical activity and learning is hardwired into the brain’s circuitry.” He believes that “the real point of exercise is to build and condition the brain.”

In the same newsletter I found an interesting activity you might like to try with the children in your care. These activities are such fun. As they say in the ad, ‘don’t tell them it’s good for them.’

“To help develop eye/hand co-ordination and tracking: take an empty egg carton and jump a marble around the spaces.” ~ Carol Bartlett – Behavioural Optometrist

For further information on this article go to www.movetolearn.com.au.

To purchase Move to Learn products, especially the DVD demonstrating the movement sequences that help to wire up the brain in all children, but especially those with learning difficulties, go to www.kidzfizbiz.com.

Scarf Book

Thank you for your patience. It’s like having an overdue baby with all the discomfort and anxiety that goes with it. The holdup has been the packaging! Of all things! Well it’s not hard to believe as the book pack contains a DVD and two scarves. I will have prototypes sent this week and hope to have stocks by early December. Again, I will keep you posted.

Quotes of the Week

“It does not matter how slowly you go, so long as you do not stop.” ~ BC Forbes, Founder Forbes Magazine

“Some people dream of worthy accomplishments while others stay awake and do them.” ~ Source Unknown

“Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” ~ Will Rogers


Over 50s Exercise
Just came across this exercise suggested for the over 50s to build muscle strength in the arms and shoulders. It seems so easy so I thought that I’d pass it on to some of my friends and family. The article suggested doing it three days a week.

  1. Begin by standing on a comfortable surface, where you have plenty of room at each side. With a 2kg potato sack in each hand, extend your arms straight out from your sides and hold them there as long as you can. Try to reach a full minute, then relax.
  2. Each day, you’ll find that you can hold this position for just a bit longer. After a couple of weeks, move up to 5kg potato sacks. Then 25kg potato sacks and then eventually try to get to where you can lift a 50kg potato sack in each hand and hold your arms straight for more than a full minute.
  3. After you feel confident at that level, put a potato in each of the sacks.

You pulled a muscle when you tried to exercise…


“Thanks Marlene. I am looking forward to getting into the books and CDs and teaching my kiddy-winks some new songs. I can’t seem to keep up with their desire for new songs while at the same time balance it out with the ones they already love. They are too greedy for the music and I don’t have enough time in my busy year 3 classroom. Thanks again. Paige”

About The Author

Marlene Rattigan B.A., Dip. Ed. (ECS), CELTA

Marlene Rattigan is an Early Childhood teacher, a teacher of English as a Second Language, and from 1987-2000 was a nationally accredited fitness leader. Her background is in music education. A keen interest in motor development in children led to the creation of Kidz-Fiz-Biz which she taught successfully for 13 years. Marlene also conducts workshops for children, teachers and parents at schools, in the community and at festivals. She has produced teaching manuals complete with audio CDs which are an extension of her ‘Kidz-Fiz-Biz’ program.

PO Box 6894, East Perth WA 6892, Australia
T: +61 8 9325 1204 M: +61 (0) 410 64 2781 E: info@kidzfizbiz.com

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Until next time … continue being a legend in your classroom.

Marlene Rattigan, Editor
Kidz Newz

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