Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Movement and Learning

I am taking a class to renew my teaching certifcate called Get them out of Their Chairs:  the Power of Movement.  It focuses on how movement facilitates learning.  I chose this class because I thought it sounded fun, but I have also been learning about how movement and being fully present and experiencing life with your whole body is especially good for adoptive kids.  It's actually great for everyone, and it helps with stress.  So, I thought I would somewhat journal about the books I am reading in my blog.

The first book was Start Smart:  Building Brain Power in the Early Years by Pam Schiller. It talks about many areas that affect the brain to reach full capacity and make connections and memories such as aromas, colors, emotions, exercise, laughter, hydration, music, patterns, and movement.  Small muscle movements help learning such as finger rhymes, clapping, playing piano, knitting, etc.  The small muscle movements help us to be alert.  We are hands-on learners, all of us.  Even playing with silly putty or shelling peanuts while listening to a story can help us remember.  I know my 14 year old likes to click a pen or play with a clothespin while she reads.  She thinks it helps her remember and focus.

The author also mentions how having an active time in the afternoon helps our brain develop.  Other tidbits I liked:

*peppermint, basil, lemon and cinnamon help mental alertness
*orange and lavender relax
Add these scents in your day with foods, scented playdo, scented hand lotions, bean bags with herbs
*blue and green are calming
*reds and yellow are energizing and creative
*brown reduces fatigue and relaxes
*schedule water breaks to keep from feling drawsy and listless
Cross-lateral Movement
*hand rhymes and activites that cross the midline help boost the brain
*can boost memory, attention, and motivation
*can lower stress, activate both sides of brain, enhance mood
*changing environments and toys increase interest and learning
*finding patterns in clothing, books, nature, routines, seasons

-Don't overload kids schedules
-Provide feedback and encouragement, focus on process not product, and encourage progress

These are just notes I took as I was reading.  I will be using my readings over the next couple of weeks to incorporate these ideas, particularly about movement, into our homeschool lessons.

We already tried doing jumping jacks while saying the definition of a verb.  Lila loved it!

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