Five to ten minutes of hand/eye coordination exercises a day can Focus attention, improve learning, relieve anxiety and reduce stress.

Grant Date
2018
Grant Applicant
Michele Forsberg
Grant Category
Grant Co-applicants
School Site
Amount Funded
$2200.00
Description (10 points)

A safe and engaging "mind break" experience for students. Currently, third through fifth-grade students are 1:1with technology. The simple, yet very effective, games we are suggesting have been proven to stimulate a different part of the brain. They are a "reboot" to the brain.  We also believe it will be imperative to find a way to ensure our students feel safe and engaged during the 2-3 year period of construction. (Students will be in an extremely tight space!) The suggested items will be best used by ALL 3-5th-grade students (approximately 10-12 classes). The idea is to rotate the items/games for a 1-2-week period per class after Shauna and Mike have had an opportunity to introduce and teach the activity during PE rotations.

Benefits of Program (10 points)

·      Simple hand/eye coordination exercises are proven to improve cognition and recall (Healthy Brain, Happy Life). Repeated activity heightens a person’s ability to strategize. Preparation for continued movement lights up the hippocampus which improves memory.

 

·      Moving eyes up/down or side-to-side in a rapid motion makes stressful or worrisome thoughts and memories fade by soothing the emotion-processing areas of the brain (Biopsychosocial Medicine).

 

·      Benefits of this form of exercise can not only provide brain growth but body comfort as well. In comparison to the body dynamics of a student sitting at a desk hunched over a computer, worksheet, or even reading, the proposed relief of the attached exercises will improve both posture as well as oxygenation to the brain. Other benefits include, but are not limited to, the following:

Success of Program (10 points)

o   Stress relief ~ physical activity, brain stimulation, visual stimulation, the joy of success at learning something new…(not academic)

o   Focus Retention ~ Mind/Body connection at being completely engaged and focused at the moment

o   Coordination Boosting ~ Improvement of gross and fine motor skills

o   Improved Learning ~ problem-solving skills, reconnection to a sense of self, executive function improvement, ability to ignore distractions, multitask, and hold and manipulate information in the mind

o   Active meditation ~ being focused in the moment and aware of your surroundings creates a “relaxation response” which creates a shrinkage of the part of the amygdala, a deep-brain structure strongly implicated in processing stress, fear, and anxiety.

Implementation (10 points)

As stated above, the items will serve as a rotation of games to be used both individually as well as cooperatively during academic breaks and P.E. 

Sustainability
Some of the items will wear out with time. Some of the items might require replacement parts. We tried to account for this in the grant and have decided to purchase one of each item to ensure its sustainability before we purchase a classroom set.
Can you share this grant with your grade level or subject team?

As mentioned above, the items will be shared amongst 3rd-5th-grade classes. This includes 11-12 classes which equate to approximately 275-300 students.

Budget (10 points)
Budget Item(s)
$3790 - Please see uploaded excel file
Taxes
$303.00
Shipping
$250.00
Amount Requested
$4343.00
Budget Notes

Item DesriptionItem

Other funding sources

We did not discuss this grant with site/district since the items listed are specific to some, but not all, grade levels. Shauna, Mike, and I are willing to research items specific to kinder-2nd but would request additional funds be added. We are working towards a positive emotional and mental break for our students and realize that students in the upper grades have a less imaginative play. We are trying to keep the older students engaged in an activity that will help them through a possibly rough time in the next few years. 

Notes

Shauna, Mike, and I have research several links to the many options we have chosen. We looked for quality, durability, cost/sustainability ratio, and student engagement for each item. Although our spreadsheet represents a specific item, as stated, we will order one of each item and "put it through the test!"