OKLAHOMA CITY – A charter school has seen a dramatic decrease in bad behavior after adding an Action Based Learning, or ABL, lab to their school.
"The room is set up to where there are stations for team partners. Students come together with their class and take brain breaks. Academics is tied to the brain breaks,” said Ruthie Rayner, the principal of Stan Hupfeld Academy.
Stan Hupfeld is one of 33 schools in Oklahoma with an ABL lab like the one Rayner described.
"The Action Based Learning for sure gets some energy out, and teachers love it because it is a place where they are moving and they're getting energy out but they're still focusing on some academic pieces,” Rayner said.
For example, the lab includes several elliptical-type machines that allow the students to read while moving.
"There's truly brain scans that are showing that, when students are moving, their brains are more engaged in learning,” said Dana Chambers, an ABL coordinator.
Stan Hupfeld opened their lab last year and, so far, the results have proven the system works in more ways than one.
"With the fidelity of using the lab, we started seeing our discipline data drop dramatically,” Rayner said.
For the month of December, for example, the year before last, there were 60 kids sent to the office for bad behavior. Last year, that number dropped to six.
"Getting students to move benefits not only their physical self but also their abilities in school. So, we are very excited to see our test scores come out this year,” Rayner said.
There are 67 schools in Oklahoma that use ABL in Oklahoma, and 33 of those have ABL labs.
The labs are funded through grants from Healthy Schools Oklahoma.