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Tulsa Childrens Museum reps tour Jefferson's ABL class

Originally posted October 13, 2016

Representatives from the Tulsa Children's Museum toured the Action-Based Learning Lab at Jefferson Elementary School Wednesday.

The representatives wanted to learn how Jefferson's interactive room helped students improve both academically and physically. They included Anne Galbreath, director of organizational development, Lynnsey Childress, program sales coordinator, and Raymond Vandiver, executive director, all for the museum. He has worked with Union before on its Angry Birds game at the 6th/7th Grade Center.

The idea is to engage students' minds while they are actively engaging their bodies in a physical activity, Principal Kim Rampey told them as she walked them through the class as fifth graders demonstrated how the classroom is utilized.

The class does not replace physical education but instead incorporates action into learning activities, such as spelling letters on the ground. Inside the new action-based learning lab, which is really just a converted classroom, students may type sentences with their toes on giant keyboards, recite colors while stepping on a ladder, or maybe read a book while riding a bicycle. Many of the activities center on balancing and all involve movement. Students work in pairs of twos, visiting stations every two minutes.

Rampey said Jefferson was able to secure the lab because the school, lead by physical education teacher Diana Irick, has placed emphasis on physical activities, which includes two recess, and better nutritional food items. Last month, Jefferson Elementary School was named a 2016 Let's Move! Active Schools National Award recipient.

In 2015, Irick was named Oklahoma Teacher of the Year for Elementary Physical Education by the Oklahoma Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreations, and Dance.

Action Based Learning (ABL). ABL promotes the body of science supporting increase physical activity throughout the school day to increase academic success and emotional well-being.  Strategies are research-based and have proven results. ABL “labs” are classrooms that provide a series of progressions and stations, each designed to incorporate physical activity into lessons. Balance, coordination, spatial awareness, directionality, and visual literacy are developed as the child rolls, creeps, crawls, spins, twirls, bounces, balances, walks, jumps and juggles.