What patterns or themes are evident in the research I read? How do these themes inform my project and/or the projects of others in this PLN?
After reading through all the research I have collected I have begun to notice two strong themes permeating through all the information. I began my research looking for information about using brain breaks in the classroom, and the benefit of incorporating physical activity in the classroom as well. My findings demonstrated the first theme of the fact that incorporating play and movement in the classroom is beneficial for students in a variety of ways. It helps engage students in learning, and some intentional physical activities can even promote coordination skills and focusing abilities.
The second theme I discovered in the literature I researched centers around a specific program. As I was researching brain breaks, I found quite a few articles about the program Brain Gym. This program consists of 26 different activities that are claimed to promote neurological re-patterning and facilitate whole brain learning (Hyatt, 2007). This is an extremely popular program that has existed for over 30 years, and is used in over 80 countries (Spaulding, Mostert, & Beam, 2010). However despite the longevity and popularity of this program, many professional researchers deny the credibility of the program, and suggest not to use it. They claim that the Brain Gym program has no credible research to back its claims, and that research that has been done by the program to provide evidence for its claims, contain methodological errors (Hyatt, 2007).
The research that I have uncovered has really piqued my curiosity. I believe the researchers I have read about that say that Brain Gym does not have credible research, but I do not think I believe when researchers say that educators should not use the program. I am very curious to actually try the program out myself and try it and see how it affects my students. The undeniable popularity of this program, across the entire world, is too strong of a factor to deny and to completely discredit the Brain Gym program, I believe, and I want to try it for myself before I decide if it is a good program or not.
Hyatt, K. J. (2007). Brain Gym: Building Stronger Brains or Wishful Thinking?. Remedial & Special Education, 28(2), 117-124.
Lucinda S. Spaulding , Mark P. Mostert & Andrea P. Beam (2010) Is Brain Gym® an Effective Educational Intervention?, Exceptionality: A Special Education Journal, 18:1, 18-30, DOI: