Friday, April 18, 2014

Math & Movement

This past winter, I was really lucky to attend an awesome conference session on the program Math & Movement. You can check out their website here. M&M is a math program focused around involving students with a "kinesthetic" approach to learning through movement in the form of jumping, skipping, dancing, and reaching while verbally participating in various math (and now literacy) centered activities. The target age groups for the program are grades Pre-K through 8.

The moment I saw this program in action, I knew that it needed to be brought to our school. With the help of grants and Title I funding, our school was able to purchase several of the math and literacy mats as well as receive training in how to incorporate movements into every day classroom learning for our kiddos.

There is just something about taking a learning concept, making it BIGGER and giving students a visual and movement to go with it that ignites a desire and a purpose to the learning experience in our kiddos. There is a ton of research out there that backs up this approach to learning, but I figured that sharing some pictures of our experience would hold a much more powerful purpose than throwing out research-based facts.

(Love this mat-students can skip count by 2's, 3's, 4's, 6's, 7's, etc. The mats also have multiplication components on them. For my younger kiddos, they would throw a bean bag and skip count by the pattern until they reached their bean bag. The older kids would throw their bean bag, but they had to jump on a number and say the multiplication sentence. 1 x 4 = 4, 2 x 4 = 8, etc. LOVED)

One of the main things that I love about these mats are the possibilities for learning. Last night, I came up with 5 or 6 different ways just to use ONE mat during our Family Fun Night, and the mats can be adapted to target different age groups. 

We were so excited about this new program that we wanted to share it with our school families in hopes that they could integrate some of the components at home. Our family fun night was a HUGE success. I cannot tell you how full it made my heart to watch hundreds of our school families hang out in our gym and learn together. Here are two short videos of our kiddos using the mats.

I cannot wait to fully incorporate this program into my classroom this fall. The whisper talks, chants, dances, and other fun, learning based activities are going to rock my second graders' worlds!

So...go check out Math & Movement (they did NOT ask me to write this post) and grab some mats! It is worth it-promise!! Oh, and did I mention that they have folks that will write grants for you to help you bring this program to your school!

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