Active Classrooms

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Contact Information

Organization Information

Project Summary

Northern Tioga School District’s goal was to increase activity through brain breaks and active classrooms. The school district identified the need to increase opportunities for students to be active throughout the school day. With support from the Building Healthy School’s Grant and Penn State PRO Wellness, elementary schools in the district provided opportunities for teachers to implement flexible seating, which includes active classroom set up for students. Teachers were encouraged to utilize brain breaks with students throughout the school day to promote better learning and activity.

Project Goal

We wanted to “Maximize the Potential for a Healthy Lifestyle” knowing that our districts BMI’s are high and we live in a rural area where it is difficult for families to have access to activities/ Classroom physical activity is one solution that can help us work towards healthier and more active students.

Promotional Methods

We have communicated about our project through the Wellness Committee/Building Healthy Schools Committee to have “champions” that promote wellness in each school. Emails with wellness ideas are sent approximately each week to help spur on the current work and generate new ideas. The District Update, which is sent to all families in the Northern Tioga attendance area is sent monthly and contains information as well as our district website. The most successful strategy for Northern Tioga is champions at the building level, which includes the building level leadership/principal.

Project Challenges

At first it seemed that our geographic sprawl (336 square miles) over 5 buildings was an insurmountable barrier to communicate wellness efforts. We gathered for a couple meetings, held some meetings virtually, and used conference calling. In addition, emails were sent to all committee members that they could forward out and were greatly encouraged to discuss in their respective buildings. It was not feasible for us to always meet in person and the other forms of communicating were necessary to continue moving forward.

Project Results

The materials came in towards the end of winter. We are just deploying some of the active classroom items and had to be cautious not to change the environment too much for our State testing (PSSA’s). I am sure we will continue to hear more as more items are out in the classrooms. The mindset toward promoting wellness has significantly improved among our faculty. Those who were not sure about embracing active classrooms have made small changes and look forward to more improvements. As Mrs. Sottolano (Westfield Elementary) principal stated that this is not a “top down” model nor do we believe this strategy will work. When teachers find that student engagement and achievement go up –they are likely to embrace active classrooms. Teachers have found that behavior among students has significantly improved because students are able to move and locate the seating that works for them. Teachers who have implemented active classrooms indicate that they will continue to implement in future years.

Organization Type

Academic Institution

Types of Practices

  • Academic Institution
  • K-12 Schools

Target Age Ranges

  • 10-14
  • 2-6
  • 6-10
  • Children

Gender(s)

  • All

Race/Ethnicity

  • All

Project Service Type

  • Education / Training / Resource Development
  • Prevention

Project Content Area

  • Health (general)
  • Health Equity
  • Healthy Communities
  • Physical Activity

Project/Program Care Team Target Population

  • None

Counties Served

  • Tioga

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