Activate 13 in the classroom:
Activate 13 is designed to increases physical fluency, agility, balance and co-ordination. It develops attention, concentration and listening skills, self-awareness, self-confidence and self-esteem.
Introduction to Activate 13
The programme includes 75 minutes of weekly builds stamina and strength and fights obesity. Activate 13 also develops various academic personal, social and behavioural competencies.
Inclusive, whole class, age levelled, progressive exercise programmes that improve physical fluency, agility, balance, co-ordination and much more.
The design aims of Val Sabin when creating “Activate in the Classroom” was to provide easy to use, age-specific, inclusive, progressively staged, repeated patterns of movement with music programmes. The activities are designed to help children become:
- more agile
- better balanced
- better co-ordinated
- better controlled
- more precise in their movements
Children improve their listening attention and concentration capabilities as their neurological systems also become better, fitter and faster.
These age level physical fluency programmes are also specifically aimed at improving the development and efficiency of children’s cerebellar-vestibular systems. This is basically because of practice and research findings that link a wide variety of dyslexic, dyspraxic, ADHD, Aspergic and various learning dysfunction symptoms to neurological developmental delay. All children in primary school Activate classes are improving in most aspects of their physical fluency and many other benefits are being reported.
What is Activate?
Now in use in thousands of schools, these exercises to music programmes take whole classrooms of children through a repetitive movement activities within their personal stand-up space. Each activity or pattern of movements is to music which easily enables the tempo and rhythm in the movements of the children to be varied through changes in the music. The children are also having practice in the conscious active listening skills of “filtering”, “analysing” and “responding” as they move to the music.
Their attention spans or concentration stamina also gradually increases.
The in-class exercises to music are designed for daily use at 9am, straight after registration, for approximately 10 minutes and for 5 minutes after lunch at the start of the afternoon. The activities can also be used as energisers or for calming down at any time during the day.
These movement to music programmes are repeated for 2 weeks, then moved up a step through a progressive and developmental 36 week structure. The activity extensions provided can be introduced at a speed to suit the class. Every 9th week there is provision for the children to create their own programme from their favourites or their own original movement ideas.
The activities in the progressive steps utilise the best vertical movement principles that are possible standing up in the restricted space of a classroom. Moving children to an adjacent hall or playground to enable equipment to be used is not necessary and a change of clothing is not required.
Each age level scheme covers 2 school years, with the Rabbits programme for the younger year and the Kangaroos programme for the older year. The slower Frogs programmes being for Special Needs groups or for slower groups of children. The Frogs, Rabbits and Kangaroos programmes for each age level are integrated to allow movement between them if necessary.
Other Activate In The Classroom manuals include:
Activate 5 – Nursery and Reception classes (4 – 5 years)
Activate 7 – Years 1 and 2 (6 – 7 years)
Activate 9 – Years 3 and 4 (8 – 9 years)
Activate 11 – Years 5 and 6 (10 – 11 years)
Each Activate manual describes in words and shows in figure-diagram forms precisely how each activity needs to be executed for the children to fully benefit. This allows the teacher to be able to stand in front of the class and lead the exercises. Alternatively, the DVDs also show each morning and afternoon session with movements being performed to the music thus allowing the class to proceed by watching the DVD.
Alternatively, some teachers allow various children to lead the class in the Activate movements. A simple ten-point physical fluency checklist for visual assessment is now included.
The activities are fun to do and many of the extensions are curriculum-linked, e.g. as the scheme levels progress into combination activities it is possible to include rhythmic recitation of numbers, tables, words, letters, spelling, second languages, poems, historical lists etc. Further combinations and progressions in the later age scheme levels include interaction in pairs and opportunities for individual creativity of movement. Each pack comes with 3 programmes – Frogs, Rabbits, Kangaroos – a DVD for each programme, 2 complete quick reference DVD and 3 CDs of the music. There are 118 activities, progressions and extensions in each Activate age level pack for 5, 7, 9, 11 or 13.
Why is Activate In The Classroom so beneficial?
The Activate exercises are particularly designed to improve various elements of physical fluency, stimulate the cerebellar-vestibular systems and intensively exercise the neural connections between the right and left hemispheres of the brain. The activity, progression and extension exercises provide a very comprehensive upper and lower body gross-motor exercise range. Also included are fine motor exercises, balance moves, hand-eye co-ordination moves, eye exercises and speech patterns, all to sound rhythms.
- All children appear to improve their physical fluency. Observation assessments show improvements in the Physical Fluency elements of agility, balance, co-ordination, precision and control of movements, flexibility, fitness, stamina, posture, hand/eye co-ordination, reaction time and rhythmic sense.
- There are increases in concentration stamina and listening skills which transfer across the curriculum.
- Subsequent increases in confidence and self-esteem and self-awareness are almost always reported.
- There are a wide range of personal, behavioural and educational capability improvements regularly reported.
- The extra 15 minutes a day for 5 days a week add up to an extra 75 minutes a week of quality physical activity. After a time schools report lower levels of obesity.
The extra balance and eye exercise extensions in the second edition have been added as a result of a greater understanding of their importance. Second edition programmes now contain around 120 core activities, progressions and extensions in each Activate 5, 7, 9, 11 and 13 age level scheme.