By Lois E. Huffman, Ph.D.
At the 2017 NCRA Conference, I facilitated a professional development institute titled “Get a Move On to Learn More Vocabulary.” During the workshop, we briefly explored the growing body of research that supports experiential learning and movement in core subjects. We then delved into specific action strategies for developing language and vocabulary.
To conclude the session, we addressed the importance of school and classroom cultures that build in opportunities for physical activity. Here are additional resources for why and how to develop movement-friendly learning spaces:
This article provides practical ideas for kinesthetically scaffolding students who will benefit from moving more in the classroom. (Please be aware that sensory tools and fidgets do not include spinners and other toys that are likely to distract students and interfere with learning.)
The elementary teacher who wrote this blog post recommends having different work spaces and clear guidelines for behavior. He also offers strategies to support the transition to a flexible classroom.
As summarized in the one-sentience subtitle, this piece offers “tips on giving students a choice about where and on what to sit – including ideas about seating charts and classroom management.”
Many teachers have instituted brain breaks to reenergize students and improve focus and cognitive processing. Another option is to set up a workout circuit in the gymnasium that allows students to devise their own fitness regimen.
This recent American Educator article focuses on the importance of recess for children’s intellectual development, health, and wellness.
I hope this information is useful in your efforts to incorporate more tactile learning, one of the “5 Trends in Literacy Education for 2017.” “Coupling physical activities with literacy instruction boosts muscle memory and better helps students to retain the concepts being taught.”
Happy reading, moving, and learning!