Physical Activity and Movement (in Hebrew!) Improves Learning 

Keren Asayag, Hebrew Teacher

Physical Activity and Movement (in Hebrew!) Improves Learning 

by Keren Asayag, Lower School Hebrew Teacher

The Hebrew curriculum in first grade is very rich. This is the first year that the students learn to read and write a new language written from right to left with a completely different system of vowels showing up as little dots and lines under or above the letter ...indeed, not a small challenge. Our students definitely need breaks!

Research has shown a strong correlation between physical activity during class and an increase in cognitive performance and ability to stay on task. In first grade Hebrew class, we have definitely adopted these recommendations! 

1st Grade Hebrew teacher Keren Asayag (Hamorah Keren) leads the students in a movement break of 4-8 minutes during every Hebrew class. Each guided “body break” also contributes to the students’ Hebrew language acquisition. How, might you ask? All the instructions are given in Hebrew, including the specific movements, counting, and words of encouragement.

A favorite form of Hebrew body break in the first grade is shown in these photos, in which the students are guided through a series of movements, stretching their bodies, learning directions and different body parts. 

Hamorah Keren adds that "Pedagogical respite is positive. We know that children can in most cases concentrate for a maximum of 20 minutes. Doing some kind of respite during class and starting it over again is not only a recommendation but an imperative."