With the bitterly cold temps across KELOLAND it can be tough for kids to get outside to burn off some energy.
Now, students at a local school are finding ways to burn energy without leaving the building.
Third-grade teacher Nicole Gardner says one of the mottos in her classroom is that everyone has different needs. Gardner says by giving the students choices on how to meet their needs, it empowers them.
“Kids like to have choice and in here they can choose what they sit on as long as they are acting appropriately. We go over the rules and the expectations at the beginning of the year and they don’t want to lose their choice,” Gardner said.
Students have multiple choices such as exercise balls, wobble stools, lawn chairs or simply sticking with a regular chair.
“It’s fun to move around and you don’t get in trouble, so,” Joey Uhing said.
Instead of being told to sit still during class, Uhing says getting to move around throughout class helps him focus.
But that’s not the only choice students can make in her classroom — they can also choose to pedal.
“I think it keeps the kids, well number one active. But number two I think it helps them focus better, stay on task. There’s lots of kids who need movement and we know that movement helps brain development,” Gardner said.
About three years ago Gardner received a grant from the Sioux Falls School District Education Foundation to incorporate mobile pedals to go under a student’s desk. The pedals offer students some physical activity without stopping class work.
“It just makes it a lot more funner. Also you can concentrate better and it kind of gives you a little bit of exercise,” Aiyana Weston said.
Weston says thanks to the pedals everyone can get healthier and stronger.
Aside from making class time more fun, students say they enjoy being able to get some exercise during class.
“I get to have exercise and it makes me more healthier and it makes me concentrate, and it’s just way more fun in my classroom to have them,” Uhing said.
A classroom making physical activity just as important as learning.
“Our society is becoming more inactive especially with electronics and I think it just helps them too. As they’re moving their brains are working, and so are their bodies,” Gardner said.
Gardner says she is no longer the only classroom with the pedals, adding that another 3rd grade room will have the chance to use them.
To read about the benefits of exercise on elementary aged kids, click here.