Learning on Your Feet
Course Outline

Course Fee: $90
Course Numbers: EED x701, SED x701
Standard Course Time: 15 hours
Semester Credits: One (1) academic credit at the post-baccalaureate level (available for an additional fee)
Credit Issued by: Cal Poly Humboldt (refer to our Graduate Credit page for credit pricing and details)
Subject Area: Special Topics

This course has been developed and optimized for online delivery using the licensed title Learning on Your Feet, published by Routledge and authored by Brad Johnson and Melody Jones.

Introduction/Course Description:

What makes this course stand out from other classroom strategy courses is the inclusion of more physical fitness, which research shows dramatically improves students’ focus, behavior, and achievement. But understand that the research and activities aren’t just an extension of physical education class. Rather, they focus on developing core, balance, and fitness, which improve reading, critical thinking, organization, focus, behavior, and overall academic achievement. The research in this course overwhelmingly reinforces our position that a fit body is critical to maximum student achievement and overall success. What is interesting is that many academic issues with reading or math are actually often related to physical issues. For example, as we will discuss in the course, poor reading skills may in some part be attributed to lack of coordination (body midline), which impedes the ability to read from left to right.

If the ideas and strategies in this course are implemented into the traditional classroom, you will see a significant change in your students’ behavior, productivity, sense of well-being, and achievement. Students’ achievement can increase dramatically as their overall fitness improves. Teachers have also greatly benefited from the exercises discussed in this course, with weight loss, improved core strength, balance, and increased sense of well-being. Every module has great ideas to try, so feel free to implement as few or as many as you feel comfortable including in your classroom.

Course Objectives/Program Outline

Module One: Why Do Students Need to Get Moving?

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe the important connection between learning and exercise.
  • Outline how physical activity improves brains elasticity, how contact with the outdoors has a calming effect, how exercise releases endorphins, and how the same part of the brain processes learning and movement.
  • Verify the connection of activity and test scores.

Project 1: The Need for Movement
Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Module Two: Preparing to incorporate Movement in the Classroom

Learning Objectives:

  • Recognize the need to transform the traditional classroom.
  • Define various transformative ideas for their classroom.
  • Integrate technology and movement.
  • Document the integration of technology and movement with fresh eyes.
  • Evaluate various ways to integrate technology and movement.
  • Reconstruct how to create a classroom culture that children learn through active learning.
  • Support the concept of keeping it simple in your classroom.
  • Demonstrate effective movement strategies to manage their classroom.

Project 2: Home Improvement for the Traditional Classroom
Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Module Three: Ways to Incorporate Movement into the Classroom

Learning Objectives:

  • Examine the stresses of today’s youth.
  • Develop various strategies to minimize stress in their classroom.
  • Recognize the link of classrooms of yesterday with the needs of classrooms today.
  • Demonstrate various strategies to engage learner’s minds and bodies.
  • Describe the invaluable importance of teamwork.
  • Reconstruct the various games that grow teamwork.
  • Analyze the importance of how information is taught in today’s classroom.
  • Support various activities that enhance STEM instruction.

Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Module Four: Physical Fitness, Music and Movement

Learning Objectives:

  • Explain the connection of a strong core to a strong mind.
  • Demonstrate various activities to develop a strong core.
  • Verify the connection of balance and mental processing.
  • Apply various activities to improve balance.
  • Identify the importance of learning through play.
  • Discover various playful games that enhance a child’s ability to learn.
  • Validate the importance of music in the classroom.
  • Justify various musical activities and strategies that enhance a child’s ability to learn.

Project 3: And Then There Was Music…
Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Final Exam

Multiple choice questions taken from each module

Final Learning Statement

Learning statements should be in a narrative format – as opposed to an outline format. Depending on individual writing styles Learning statements should be 2-3 pages. The learning statement can vary according to individual style. Your learning statement should answer the broad question of "what did you learn?". To help get you thinking, here are some suggested questions:

  • What are the major concepts of the course that you have learned?
  • What new professional language have you acquired relating to the topic?
  • What teaching techniques for implementing new strategies in the classroom did you come away with?
  • Thinking back to your project reflections, were you surprised at the outcomes?
  • What new resources did you find in the study of the content?
  • As an educator, what new concepts will you now integrate into your teaching?
  • Are there any ideas that presented themselves as enlightening and useful?

--- Sample Course Project ---

Learning Objective: Identify ways to incorporate movement activities into your classroom.

In this first module, we have learned about the about the important connection between learning and exercise. Regular physical activity supports healthy child development by improving memory, concentration, and positive outlook. The connection between learning and exercise seems to be especially strong for elementary school students. Given these findings, cutting back on physical education, recess, and even play with the aim of improving academic performance, as some districts have done, appears to be counterproductive. With your new understanding of exercise and its connection to learning, this project will focus on identifying the need for movement and the incorporation of movement activities into your classroom.

For this Project:
  • Think back to your overall school experience with an emphasis on the "past generation’s" general physical activity level at school. Write down specific examples of ways that movement was incorporated into the classroom and/or the school day.
  • Compare the "present generation’s" general physical activity level at school with that of the "past generation". Any similarities of differences?
  • Armed with both past and present examples, identify ways that the "future generation's" general physical activity level at school can be improved.

For Your Written Project Reflection Submission

Take a moment to reflect on your findings for this project, using the questions below as a guide:

  • What is one movement activity you will adopt in your classroom today?
  • Why is this movement activity important for your current class?
  • What will this movement develop in your students? Please be specific.

Visit the "Module Projects" section located within the Course Dashboard, and take a moment to share your findings by submitting your written project reflection.

Cal Poly Humboldt Credit Specifics

  • Academic Credit at the Graduate Level through Cal Poly Humboldt (CPH) is offered after successful completion of this course.
  • The 700 series semester credit is post-baccalaureate level appropriate for credentialed teachers which do not require admission to a graduate program.
  • 700-level classes are graduate level classes meant specifically for credential purposes, and are appropriate for license renewal or recertification.
  • Courses are letter graded on official transcripts from CPH.
  • CPH is the northernmost and westernmost institution in the 23-campus California State University (CSU) system.
  • CPH is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), a regional accrediting agency serving a diverse membership of public and private higher education institutions.

Summer Option

If you are not currently teaching (ie. Summer break, you are a substitute teacher, etc.), each class offers you the ability to complete coursework independent of a classroom assignment.