Teacher Practices, Time for Physical Activity, and the School Day: A Preliminary Analysis
Existing data describe the positive relationships across children’s play/physical activity, mental wellness, physical health, and intellectual success (Carter, 2016; Crnic & Kondo, 2019; English 2019; Tomporowski, Davis, Miller, & Naglieri, 2007). This current mixed-method study identifies ways in which classroom teachers describe implementing physical activity and play opportunities during a typical school day. Classroom teachers (N = 511), pre-k through sixth grades, completed surveys identifying the types of play and physical activities (recess, games, movement) they implemented during the day, the time allowed for each type of experience, use of software to support the movement, and training associated with physical activity and play. Data describe teachers’ pervasive use of GoNoodle as an activity break during the school day. These findings support previous research demonstrating a concern for children’s outdoor recess time. Implications describe how teachers’ lack of adequate training may undermine children’s developmentally appropriate physical activities and play experiences. Authors discuss the potential of these data in planning for children’s long-term physical and mental health and wellbeing.
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