Teacher takes class time to improve students’ focus

GODDARD, Kansas – It’s a conversation that has been getting a lot of attention, the amount of physical activity kids get when they’re in school.  One Goddard Elementary school believes taking ten minutes of class time every day is helping her students.

Ten minutes a day for the past 10 years, Denise Means and her fourth graders have used racquetball to re-focus after lunch.

“We do our exercises and it helps your brain get ready for math and it helps you get focused,” said fourth grader Kori Kramer.

The 9- and 10-year-olds don’t get recess until the end of the day and the average Goddard public school student only has 15 to 30 minutes of recess, but Means says her kids do better with a little mid-day movement.

“Movement is good, but we also know that sometimes movement stimulates them and it’s hard to get them to calm back down,” she said.

She found what she thinks is the perfect balance.  It’s a method called Bal-A-Vis-X.

“We each get two balls and Mrs. Means has us do a routine every day before we start doing our own thing,” said student Aiden Randa.

It gets kids out of the classroom and uses balance, sound, visuals, and exercise to improve focus.

Even though it takes time away from class Means says she sees the difference in her students and they love it.  However, she always reminds them that they’re daily sessions are a privilege.

“It’s not a goof off time, but I want to see them have fun too,” she said.

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