The morning is upon us and children are standing in a circle holding hands. As the morning verse begins, the circle starts to take many forms, synchronized; playful and endearing. Children recite poetry; numbers and letters, all with the distinct partnership of movement.
Their deliberate gestures are more than simple actions to songs, they are thoughtful movements, engaging their whole body, during a time of their day when their minds are fresh and ready to absorb the new day’s experiences and lessons.
When you look at the research around movement for children of all ages and a variety of learning styles -- what is truly surprising is that not every school already schedules movement into their lesson planning.
Our children are young, active and imaginative. Their eyes upon us for guidance and direction, but more importantly, they look to us to set the precedent for how they should be learning. As educators, it is our responsibility to carve out a standard from which our children’s desire for learning is inspired.
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The young child’s body constantly moves as every sensory receptor reacts to its environment, sending messages to the brain that remind the child what a wonderful time it is to be alive, in that very moment, in each experience. When structured movement is incorporated into lessons through regular intervals of the day the child is able to fully integrate the information they are learning within the framework of movement lessons.
At Zaya Early Learning, children are introduced to academic concepts through various movement lessons, one of which is Eurhythmy, a form of dance, rhythms and gentle music, all designed to reinforce various concepts that the children are learning throughout their day.
When a child is introduced to letters at Zaya Early Learning, they are not only shown the symbol and taught the phonetic sound to match, they are also taught that every letter has a movement, and they learn these movements during their weekly Eurhythmy class. The same would be said for numbers and numeracy. When learning new numbers, they are simultaneously taught rhythm and movement which go hand in hand when recounting patterns in math and numeracy.
Movement is vital, it is in the child’s nature and we should be encouraging it in every way possible. When educators embrace this innate drive within the young child, they capture every essence of the child, and engage them fully into their learning environment.