CHESAPEAKE - Youngsters in some Chesapeake are getting a mental workout during gym class.
The effort comes as math and English SOL tests are becoming more challenging. Schools are pushing gym teachers to incorporate writing and arithmetic.
Deep Creek Elementary students count in different languages during warm-up exercises, including Arabic, Egyptian, Swahili, Spanish, Tagalog and Farsi.
They're also hopping on letter mats to spell out words. Tristan Pogue, a physical education teacher, says they work with classroom teachers. If kids need help spelling, they will have kids jump to letters to spell words.
"It is still fun. We're not teaching. We are just reinforcing what they're learning. Research shows that when you connect learning with movement, it stays with your long term memory," Pogue said.
It's a trend across the nation. Chesapeake schools was included in a recent New York Times article, on Gym teachers adding academics to sports.