1st Edition

Learning on Your Feet
Incorporating Physical Activity into the K–8 Classroom

ISBN 9781138956780
Published April 20, 2016 by Routledge
134 Pages 24 B/W Illustrations

USD $34.95

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Book Description

In this much-needed book, you’ll learn how incorporating physical activity into the classroom can improve students’ engagement, achievement, and overall wellness. Students typically spend most of the day sitting at their desks, and many don’t have recess or PE, yet research shows that regular exercise helps stimulate brain function and improve skills such as reading, critical thinking, organization, and focus. Authors Brad Johnson and Melody Jones, who have consulted with schools across the globe on fitness issues, offer a variety of games and activities you can use to integrate exercise into any class or subject area. You’ll learn how to:

  • Create an "active classroom" with active workstations and fitness areas to keep students alert and engaged throughout the day;
  • Gradually introduce physical activities into your everyday classroom routine;
  • Use interactive technology to teach your students about health and fitness;
  • Try out a variety of activities and exercises to reduce stress, help students focus, promote teamwork, build core strength and balance, and more;
  • Make STEM classes more exciting with hands-on activities, projects, and real-world problems, all while getting your students up and moving.

These activities are easy to implement and are designed to improve one’s physical and mental capabilities, as well as increase enjoyment of learning for happier, healthier, higher-achieving students.

Table of Contents

Meet the Authors




Part I: Introduction: Why Do Students Need to Get Moving More?

Chapter 1: We Learn Better on Our Feet than in Our Seats

Part II:  Getting Started: Preparing to Incorporate Movement in the Classroom

Chapter 2: Transforming the Physical Classroom

Chapter 3: Integrating Fitness & Technology

Chapter 4: Classroom Management Concerns


Part III: Strategies to Try: Ways to Incorporate Movement in the Classroom

Chapter 5: Activities to Reduce Stress

Chapter 6: Activities to Help Students Focus

Chapter 7: Activities to Promote Teamwork

Chapter 8: Activities to Engage Through Music and Rhythm

Chapter 9: Activities to Build Core Strength

Chapter 10: Activities to Improve Balance

Chapter 11: Activities for Fun and Play

Chapter 12: Activities for Real-World STEM Instruction



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Brad Johnson is an international speaker in the field of education. He recently spent time in Malaysia developing a fitness diploma with their Ministry of Education.

Melody Jones is certified through the National Academy of Sports Medicine as a Youth Exercise Specialist, Fitness Nutrition Specialist, and Weight Loss Specialist.

Featured Author Profiles

Author - Brad  Johnson

Brad Johnson

Cumming, Georgia, USA

Learn more about Brad Johnson »


"As a researcher, teacher educator, and advocate of physical activity and fitness, I enthusiastically support this new resource for classroom teachers. Brad Johnson and Melody Jones hit the nail on the head as they clearly describe the importance of movement during the school day. The authors highlight the importance of physical education, recess, and movement in the classroom, and provide great strategies and suggestions for connecting physical activity with instructional time, academic performance, and overall student achievement. This is a must-read for K-8 classroom teachers, administrators, and teacher educators." --Dr. Brent Heidorn, Assistant Dean for Research and Assessment in the College of Education at the University of West Georgia

"While we have doubtless all heard the aphorism, 'sound mind, sound body,' we neglect it ever more routinely in our schools- where our children are bolted to chairs all day long to become adults we can't get off couches with crowbars.  The adage is true, and by getting kids on their feet more often, we have an opportunity to promote both learning and health.  This book is a treasure trove of ideas to advance that timely, vital agenda." –David L. Katz, Director, Yale University Prevention Research Center and Creator, ABC for Fitness Program

“The research is clear: there is an undeniable connection between brain function and physical activity for all people, especially children. Brad Johnson and Melody Jones lay out a clear case for why physical activity is paramount to learning and provide practical ideas and strategies for educators to incorporate movement throughout the day. With small changes that don’t cost a dime, students will be moving their way to success. A must-read for any teacher to learn why and how to get kids out of their seats and learning on their feet!” –Kirsten Hund, Associate Executive Director for Instruction, Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association