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Introducing Movement Lab

IAH’s newest class, Movement Lab, provides an opportunity for students to explore and experience the brain-changing benefits of exercise and nature. Every day, students review a new piece of research that explores exercise as it relates to academics, brain structure, heart rate, mental health, and more.

Then, they engage in one of three exercise options that range from running to P90X to hip hop dance. At the end of each class period, students reflect on how their attention, energy, and mood change following exercise. Ultimately, they prepare a short written assignment in which they synthesize the research with their personal experience.

During the exercise I learned more about myself. I learned that while exercising I stop thinking about stuff. My mind goes blank…I’m at a quiet place just exercising and focused on myself. The way I can translate it into my everyday life is that I work better outside than I do inside. And I should try that more often. My goal is to get more exercise and a lot more work done each and every day.

Even one day of Movement Lab made a difference. Students arrived with a lethargic, glazed look in their eyes, but they cheered each other on, explored parts of Hale they had never seen before, and experienced the drastic mood-altering effects of aerobic exercise. They left laughing, smiling, and eager for the next day. Just imagine what an entire semester of this class will do!

Time to Bike

Today was a little chilly, but spring is here, and it’s time to get into dirt bike mode. Students left their comfort zones and tried something new: while all the riders were able cyclists, we reviewed shifting, braking, and the ever-important “ready” position. Our first ride circled Cat Rock and toured the edge of Storrow Pond. We heard a few riders say, “I can’t make it up that,” only to then conquer the hill. The IAH spirit is alive and well.

Collective Learning

IAH students are talking about “collective learning,” how that ability makes humans unique, and how it enables us to advance as a species. To explore the concept, they’re looking at how ancient peoples used rock from Hale’s quarries to develop tools and weapons. They’re also building shelters…a surprisingly time-consuming task! By sharing ideas from different groups, they are practicing collective learning and discovering that knowledge is a process.

Ready to Ride

IAH students joined the New England High School Cycling Association at Landry’s Bicycles Norwood this afternoon, where Aaron and Hannah taught them about mountain biking equipment and outfitted them with bikes, helmets, gloves, shoes, and shorts. As the newest members of the Westwood Wild Ones, the students will join coaches Eric Arnold and Seamus Foy as they explore Hale’s trails this spring.