Every other Friday, Mohawk Physical Education and Wellness teachers, Mr. Carr and Ms Miller, teach only kindergarten classes a program called Action Based Learning. According to its creator, Jean Blaydes Madigan, the concepts are based upon brain research that supports the link of movement and physical activity to increased academic performance and targets the young developing brain. Research indicates that about eighty-five percent of school age children are predominately kinesthetic learners. Using movement in the learning process helps many children retain and retrieve information more effectively. Sensory components of balance, coordination, spatial awareness, directionality, and visual literacy are developed as the child rolls, creeps, spins, twirls, bounces, balances, walks, jumps, juggles, and supports his/her own weight in space. Levels of physical fitness are increased and academic concepts are reinforced. Physical education standards include spatial awareness, motor skill development, eye-hand and eye foot coordination, upper and lower body strength, cardiovascular strength and endurance, and social interaction. Other equipment used are bean bags, scooter boards, balls, hula hoops, mats, tunnels and our rock climbing wall. Physical activity prepares the brain for learning by providing a healthier body/brain that works more efficiently. All things being equal, healthy active students can learn better.
One activity used by Mr. Carr and Ms. Miller is called the Action Based Learning Ladder. The student walks the ladder and simultaneously verbalizes the colors of each rung requiring increased focus. Content cards are then added and placed between the rungs with numbers, shapes and the alphabet to help anchor these concepts by combining cognitive brain functions with physical movement. As a result, stronger neural connections are built in the brain leading to improved student academic performance.
We have also created our own lessons to help students learn their site words and have incorporated basic math skills. Click the links below for examples of these lessons.
It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge. ~Albert Einstein