SPRINGDALE (KFSM) -- Students at Sonora Middle School use movement to help them comprehend their school work.
The method is called active based learning, and it gets students moving while they are learning. Plus, the method helps students retain information better than if they were sitting in a regular classroom.
Sonora Middle School has a room specifically for active based learning, and it's filled with workout equipment. During their physical education class the students use a machine for two minutes while studying content from their other classes. After those two minutes are up, the kids rotate to the next machine and do this the entire class period.
Trudi Spencer, P.E. teacher and department head, said a group of her students exercised for 20 minutes before taking a test and on average, those students scored four points higher than students who didn't work out. She said it's proven that movement helps relieve stress, which helps kids focus, feel more confident and perform better. Spencer said her goal is to eventually offer every student some type of action based learning, because it's proven that healthy, active kids make better learners.
The equipment costs about $20,000 but P.E. classes aren't the only ones that get to use it. Spencer shares her knowledge of active based learning with other teachers.
"If you have a student that's having a problem sitting down, why don't you try this?" Spencer said. "We have these boards that rock back and forth. It's a good way to get them to focus, because they're moving and it's a controlled movement."
Teachers are trying out the method in core classes like math and English, especially for students who have trouble paying attention. There is exercise equipment set up throughout the school, so if a teacher sees a student struggling to focus or even if they just had a bad morning, they send the student to move around for a few minutes to help relieve that stress.
"So now they're not going over and slapping Johnny in the head, they're focused," said Spencer.
Spencer said her goal is to eventually be able offer every student some type of active based learning because it's proven that healthy, active kids make better learners.