Resolution Time: Literacy and Health in the New Year!

Given that the new year is right around the corner, I suspect many of you will be making resolutions to exercise more, eat healthily and sleep a full 8 hours each night (is that even possible on a teacher’s schedule?!).

While I am typically good on points one and two, I don’t remember the last time I slept a full 8 hours between spending time with family, working, exercising, reading, etc. Alas, perhaps in 2009 I will get better at setting aside enough time for sufficient “Zzzzz!” Resolutions aside, most people agree that the habits we establish during our childhood are heard to break. So, why not help our students pick up a few healthy habits in the new year, while developing their literacy skills to boot?!

This week I discovered an excellent health education site titled, “KidsHealth in the Classroom.” The site’s about page states:

KidsHealth is pleased to offer teachers, school nurses, coaches, and guidance counselors a new online resource: KidsHealth in the Classroom. The KidsHealth in the Classroom website offers free health curriculum materials for teachers of all grades and subject areas. Each teacher’s guide includes discussion questions, activities, and reproducible handouts and quizzes – all aligned to national health education standards.

But that’s not all. KidsHealth in the Classroom will also offer tips from teachers, information about common childhood health problems, health-related news, and resources to help you improve the health of your students and your school – and even your own health.

I am a big fan of the Healthy Habits for Life Resource Kit on the site. The kit’s “Get Moving” guide is filled with loads of songs, dance activities and games that not only teach young children healthy habits, but key health vocabulary words as well (for a Spanish version of the guide, click here). For example, if you play the Sesame Super Stretch Game, your children will learn words like wiggle, bend and reach! I also like the Energy Dance game where children learn what foods give them energy (i.e., great vocabulary words like whole grain rice, lowfat yogurt, and broccoli) while dancing at various tempos (this is a great activity to incorporate into your day right after lunch when your kids need to burn off some steam!).

Wishing you and your children a happy healthy new year!

Anna

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