Friends, I am on a mission! My mission is to share with educators of ALL levels the importance of movement in learning.
1. Share research Whole-Brain Teaching.
2. Share research on the importance of allowing kids to MOVE and what that does for the brain and learning. This clip from Edutopia excited me!
3. Share the resources I use in my classroom that allows movement.
Examples: Go Noodle, Just Dance Brain Breaks, learning new concepts with motions and songs, singing , exercising while counting by 5s, doing yoga to calm back down and focus, and having different learning spaces!
4. Find ways to pass along that these are not extra privileges for students if you have time, but they are NECESSARY.
The Personal Fuel Behind My Mission:
I realized this week that I am one of those active students teachers discuss! Those of you that know me, you are laughing because this is not news to you. :) But, I really realized it as a student this week in a week-long course where I was expected to sit in my chair 8-4.
I understand there are situations where you need to sit and get information. I really do. However, after 3 days of this and 2 more to go I said to my husband, "I am not sure I can make it through this week. It is very hard to sit all day, have information poured into your head with little time to process.
Truth: I like to make up songs and movements to what I am learning. Truth: I have to talk through my learning with other people, which doubles my learning. Truth: I like to do yoga poses while I am listening or standing around in class. :)
A-ha! Truth:Without reflection time and movement, I was struggling to take this important (much needed & appreciated) info and organize it into compartments of my brain to make sense. I felt very frustrated and overwhelmed.
Here I sat in this class learning things that I knew I needed. I had to sit all day. There were no brain breaks to activate my brain in another way to refocus. My active body felt like it was going to explode inside. I felt like I was struggling to keep up because I was still trying to organize what was already given to me that I couldn't connect to and make any meaning with. I couldn't organize it all because we had to move on. That's what bothered me. As educators, we do the same to our kids. So much to teach them in such little time with so much on our plates!
Is this what our kids feel like?! Oh. My. Goodness. If I (a pretty good student who made straight As and loves learning) felt like not going back and was so overwhelmed to tears one morning...it really made me think about our kids that struggle to receive what we throw at them and their feelings. They may struggle because of ADHD. They may struggle because of Dyslexia. They may struggle with an Auditory Processing deficit. Maybe they haven't developed their Executive Functioning Skills fully.
Whatever the struggle, it made me ask...
Do we allow them to move enough?
Do we give them enough processing time?
Do we allow them to choose the way they learn best?
Do we allow them the chance to reflect?
I write this in hopes of sharing the importance of movement with other educators. I hope you will consider Brain Breaks in your classroom. Try it one day! Just one day- and see how much clearer your students think!
This summer at a GCISD Valor meeting, a friend and I had the entire room participate in a Brain Break. We did Pop-See-Ko from Go Noodle. The high school and middle school teachers were a little unsure at first, but then you saw it. Smiles. Everyone in that room was ready to re-engage for learning that afternoon. All it takes is one try and you will NEVER go back!