When you hear the song “YMCA”, it’s almost impossible to resist the urge to form the letters with your arms as you sing along. That is because movement combined with any material helps our brains encode the information into our long-term memory. We should strive to incorporate as many senses as we can to ensure that our students absorb information and store it away for the long-haul. Using visual, auditory, verbal, and kinesthetic elements in any learning environment is a sure-fire way to help students learn material, and be able to recall it later on down the road.
Combining motion with education not only keeps our bodies healthy, but it also activates more areas of the brain! Getting physical strengthens cognitive functioning, creates more neural networks, improves balance, and strengthens motor movement.
Staying active helps students maintain focus, engage with the material, and teaches them to associate learning with fun!
There are many opportunities to get active while learning. You can do it when learning new spelling words, memorizing definitions of vocabulary words, memorizing a poem or song, learning math facts, and so much more!
The addition of a kick-ball to any learning session is a great way to add fun and get your student excited to learn. When learning a new spelling word, you can show your student the word and have them bounce the ball as they say each letter. This method incorporates visual, auditory, verbal, and kinesthetic elements!
If you don’t have a kick-ball, don’t fret, your student can make up their own dance moves to use while learning a song. They can even act out the definitions of their vocabulary words! Maybe your student would prefer to jump rope as they recite their times tables. Your student can even incorporate stretches in between subjects to help manage stress and improve posture! There are so many ways to get creative and add physical activity to any learning environment!