Susan Nyman, a Learning Enrichment and Development (LEAD) teacher at Trident Academy, added movement to her student’s math lessons and saw amazing results. Now, she incorporates movement every day in her math warm-up exercises.
“I added movement because the students didn’t like practicing math,” Nyman says. “So, I started with counting, then moved into skip counting and now we’re working on basic addition and subtraction facts. The students say counting is easy and that they enjoy learning – I think they feel satisfied because they know how much they’ve accomplished.”
When the exercises begin, the focus is on movement first. Then after the movement is mastered the thinking components are added. For some children the movement alone is a challenge. For others, adding the counting will throw off the rhythm. Nyman says it is important to keep a steady pace, not too slow or too fast.
It is important for the movement to cross the midline which allows both sides of the brain to be involved. With practice, the students will be able to handle more complex problems with the movement. Practice affects stamina, focus and ability to recall the facts quickly.
“When the students are working on new facts, that can throw off balance, rhythm, speed and recall, so it is always a challenge. By incorporating movement into lessons, I think the students are more engaged in the learning experience and they have a better chance of remembering what they’re learning.”
For more information, contact Susan Nyman at 843-884-7046.