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ED599 Culminating Project

Teaching Through Movement

Today I worked with multiple first grade classes. I decided to try the technique of
using movement, listed in the text Lively Learning Using the Arts to teach the k-8
Curriculum. The text stated that movement comes natural to children and that our
job as teachers is to help students know how and when to move at school. I was
teaching a nutrition lesson and decided to try implementing some basic movement.
I saw a difference right away! The students became actively involved! They seemed
to be more real to mewhat I mean is in doing the exercise this week I learned a
few more names. Their faces became more connected so I got to know them better
not just passing faces. I saw more involvement from them. I actually saw myself
smiling more with them and most importantly I did less of the talking! I asked the
students to help create the word list by showing me with their body words that
begin with the letter of the day-which was letter J. The first time I did this it was
exciting. The students came up with the words and as they created a movement for
the words they were actually thinking deeply for the right word and just the right
movement. The students gave me words like jet (they pretended to be jet plans),
jelly (they became blobs of jiggling jelly), jar (they folded their hands and legs to
create a jar), junk (most of them threw themselves to the floor pretending to be
junk), it was exciting for me to see what they would come up with next. I also
noticed that when it was time for the students to read the list back to me they were
able to recall the words and read the list more accurately after incorporating
movement. I also used movement for students to show how a seed grows. Their
bodies became the seed, the water, the sun, then I asked the students to
demonstrate time passing by this was fun! Some students made the tic-tock
noise, others made the motion of a moving clock, and others tapped their wrist as if
pointing to a watch. The students then used their bodies to show the stages that a
plant goes through as it grows in the garden.
I did encounter problems with one of the classes when I tried to repeat my actions
with the word list. One particular class was involved when doing the motions but
then appeared over stimulated after each motion and it was hard to get the
students to stop the unwanted movement and distracted behavior. In those classes I
felt I needed to model more, set the rules explicitly beforehand, and allow distracted
students a chance to rest and regroup before joining the group again.
I found this technique to be successful in keeping students engaged!