Bring Math Into Your Elementary Physical Education Lessons
Physical education courses are vital because they give students the chance to get up from their desks, get their blood pumping, and have fun! Not only does physical exercise promote healthy bodies, but it also improves students’ moods and ability to learn. Therefore, P.E. warms up students’ bodies and brains! Although P.E. can serve as a productive break from the classroom, incorporating math into elementary physical education lesson plans can be a useful strategy to make learning fun and give students the exercise they need.
How Movement Supports Math Learning
Math might not be the first thing to come to mind when you think of elementary P.E. lesson plans, but movement and math are actually fantastic partners! Exercise is often only thought of as a way to a healthier body, but it also benefits our brains in a big way.
Research shows that regular exercise promotes the growth of the hippocampus, the brain region responsible for learning and memory and helps the brain grow new neuronal connections (Physical Activity, 2016). It also aids the body in releasing hormones, which creates a nourishing environment for brain cell growth (Physical Exercise, 2019).
These boosts in brainpower are especially beneficial for young children who are rapidly developing. Getting students moving is one of the best things you can do for their brains!
Bring Math into the Gymnasium
Here are some P.E.-ready materials Math & Movement offers that can help you add math to your elementary physical education lesson plans.
- Skip Counting Floor Mats. Students learn to skip count by hopping and counting aloud.
- Fraction Floor Mats. Tackling fractions can be a piece of cake with our fraction floor mats.
- Clock Hop Floor Mat. Students learn to tell time in no time at all while hopping around the clock!
- Geometric Shapes Floor Mat. Hoppers will see the shape, the number of sides it has, and its name as they familiarize themselves with geometry.
- Multiplication Hopscotch. Students will master multiplication with our educational take on a beloved game.
For the full collection of mats and stickers we offer, click here!
To see how using these mats can be fun for the whole community, check out our Family Fun Nights.
The purpose of Math & Movement supports the motives of SHAPE, the Society of Health and Physical Educators. SHAPE is an American organization that serves as the representative for health and physical education professionals across the country. The vision of the organization is to “prepare every child to lead a healthy, physically healthy life (About SHAPE America, 2019).
SHAPE is a great resource for physical education professionals looking to amplify their teachings and get students moving. Check out their website to learn more about their professional development opportunities and their guidelines for creating a more active environment for students.
About SHAPE America. (2019). Retrieved from: https://www.shapeamerica.org/about/default.aspx.
Physical activity: Benefits of exercise for health and wellbeing. (2016). Retrieved from: https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=641&language=English.
Physical exercise for brain health. (2019). Retrieved from: https://www.brainhq.com/brain-resources/everyday-brain-fitness/physical-exercise/.