OKLAHOMA CITY — When you envision an elementary school classroom, you probably think of sitting still, in desks organized in neat rows – not pedaling on exercise bikes or hopping, skipping, jumping.
However, that’s exactly what students do at more than a dozen Putnam City elementary schools in new, action-based learning labs. “What we do in here, we exercise, we say our letters,” said Destiny Sibrian, a kindergarten student at Lake Park Elementary School. “That’s what we do.”
The labs look more like a gym than a classroom, but the goal isn’t just to get exercise. Study after study shows that by pairing physical activity with learning, kids often do better in school. Each station also helps students develop important skills like balance, rhythm, and visual tracking.
“And every time they do this, it opens up neurological pathways in their brain for them to store education,” said Kimberly Hefty, the action-based learning lab coordinator at Lake Park.
Combining movement with curriculum has been effective for kindergarten, first and second grade students at the elementary school.
“My children have definitely learned their alphabet sounds, which is major in kindergarten,” said kindergarten teacher Shawnda Gilliam. “Their numbers have definitely improved on their testing.”