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Some PE teachers in South Carolina began teaching juggling about 10 years ago. Over time, scientific research has shown more and more educational benefits of the activity. According to research, the benefits of juggling can last for weeks, say teachers at Brennan Elementary. It also increases the grey matter in your brain. Susan Jordan, a teacher, says that juggling engages both sides of the brain — which control different functions — and primes students for academic performance.
Jan Scott, a physical education teacher at Brennan, tells her fourth grade classes, “If you juggle in the few weeks before you take tests, it will help your scores.”
Koosh balls and a confetti of scarves arced through the air as students prepped for their biggest week of testing. Journalist Lisa Michaels writes about watching Clifton, an 11-year old. “It helps your brain get motivated because it’s about concentration,” he told her. Daisha, 10, said, “I loosen up and let go of stress.”
Daisha followed the juggling steps posted on the wall. First, she tossed a scarf up several times from one hand, then the other. After that, she moved to tossing the scarf up and clapping while it was in the air. Eventually she added another scarf, and another. Finally, she moved to juggling balls.
Regular juggling during a three month period proved to increase brain gray matter, according to a 2004 study in the journal Nature.
But it’s more than brain science, sometimes. Teachers say the act of juggling also introduces mathematics and physics concepts! And the students gain self esteem as well.
sole source: article by Lisa Michaels, www.thestate.com, “South Carolina’s Home Page”, 5/5/07
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