DES MOINES, Iowa — Anytime the wind chill drops below 20 degrees students at Des Moines Public Schools have to stay inside during recess. Teachers agree nothing can replace recess outside, but administrators have found other appropriate substitutes. Most elementary schools will provide games for students to play during recess.
The Iowa Department of Education requires elementary students get at least 30 minutes of physical activity daily. With most elementary students participating in PE once or twice a week, teachers have to get creative to get in that physical activity. Last year Des Moines Public Schools implemented healthteacher.com. The online program serves as an interactive leader in youth health; creating games, apps, and educational resources.
DMPS faculty use Health Teacher’s program GoNoodle to get their students moving. GoNoodle provides short desk-side physical actives (also known as “brain breaks”). Brain breaks are projected onto the whiteboard and last two to five minutes.
Park Avenue Elementary Principal Dianna Anderson says her teachers started using the program last year and they love it. “Anything new is hard. and they were a little leery they thought, ‘Oh we’re going to get up and get these kids moving in the classroom and how are we going to bring them back,’ and really it has just been amazing because it has built-in as part of the transition,” said Anderson.