Originally developed in New York City — where recreational space is limited — by NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, the CHALK/Just Move program demonstrates that even without a gymnasium or outdoor play space, a school can become an active school.
CHALK/Just Move is a classroom-based movement program designed to get kids up and active right at their desks. A set of activity cards is used to lead the class in aerobic, yoga, stretching, and meditation exercises. Variations to the movements and poses make the program appropriate for children of all ages. Exercises are also academically integrated and tied to the common core state standards, allowing teachers to weave in math, science, and English language arts material to complement the day’s lesson plan.
Many CHALK/Just Move classrooms add a dose of music to up the fun factor. Students can vote on which songs they’d like to hear, adding to their enthusiasm and excitement for CHALK/Just Move breaks. Pop music helps raise heart rates during vigorous exercises, while meditative tracks calm students at the close of each break, ensuring a smooth transition back to academics. CHALK/Just Move is also offered for Smart Boards, allowing teachers to get creative with implementing lessons into the exercise movements.
Student ownership helps ensure the program is fun and embraced by kids. Students serve as the demonstration models on the cards, and in-class leaders help teachers run the breaks. In younger grades students are invited to demonstrate alongside their teacher, while in older grades students themselves take the reins. Designation as a student leader is an important privilege bestowed upon a student; these leaders take their role seriously. By allowing students to guide their peers, CHALK/Just Move doubles as an exercise in confidence-building.
Teachers value CHALK/Just Move both as a transition tool to move students between subjects and as a “reset button” to help focus the class. Teachers have significant flexibility in implementing the program during the school day as best fits their lesson plan. This makes CHALK/Just Move practical for use throughout the school year and for a variety of schedule configurations.
In 2013 CHALK/Just Move is expanding to schools nationwide, helping to make physical activity an integral, welcome part of the daily lives of children across the country.
Learn more at www.chalkcenter.org