Written by: April Chloe Terrazas
Published in 2013
Genre: Teacher Resource
Grade Level: Elementary
I normally wouldn’t review this type of book on this blog, but I received it for free through a Goodreads giveaway (and I have requested a few other teacher books as well) so I thought I’d post my review on here anyway.
When I first received this book in the mail I was a bit confused. It was the size and shape of a pocket folder, and there were papers sticking out the sides. Once I opened it up I saw that it actually was a book, and that the papers had been some little extras thrown in.
I have to say, if I had seen this book in a store I probably would never have picked it up. The size and shape don’t help it, and the five different fonts shown on the cover make it feel a bit unprofessional. I think the cover could have really benefitted from a couple pictures of kids doing the exercises, as well as using fewer font styles. I would also have preferred the book be (physically) shorter and wider. Instead of one exercise on each page, the exercises could have been spread across two facing pages with the explanation on one page and the options on the other. As it is, when this book is placed on my “teacher resources” bookshelf, it will be hard to find in the future because it is so thin.
All of that said, I am very happy to have gotten this book. I love all the different exercise ideas it provides, as well as the “options” that give the reader more ideas about how to use each exercise. There are even a few blank pages at the back for you to make up your own activities. The note in the beginning of the book (from the author) is absolutely right: kids need the opportunity to get up and move around during the day. I can see myself using the exercises in this book in whatever elementary grade I end up teaching.
In fact, this book fits perfectly with another plan I have for my future classroom: the activity wheel. I saw one my co-operating teachers using this a few years back and I fell in love with it. She took an old Twister spinner and wrote in different activities for the students to do whenever they had a few extra minutes during the day or when the students started to get a bit restless. The teacher would randomly call on a student to come up and spin the arrow. If it landed on something like “read a poem,” the student would get to pick a poem to read. If it landed on “jumping jacks,” the whole room would do the exercise.
I have planned on using an activity wheel ever since I saw it in her classroom all those years ago, and now I have something I can add to it. I think I will add a “super smart workout” label to it, and when the spinner lands on that space I will let the student pick an activity from the book.
All in all, I thought this was an excellent book. Despite my complaints about the appearance of the book, it contains quite a few useful and enjoyable ideas for use in the classroom (or at home). I am glad I found it, and I look forward to implementing some of the ideas with my students.
I give Super Smart Workout Series #1 four stars.