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Multi-Sensory Learning Creates Successful Students

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skip counting by 6s

Students in classes with multi-sensory learning are 1.51 times more likely to succeed than students in traditional lecture-based classes.

Studies show that students are more likely to have success in education when they are introduced to multi-sensory learning at a young age. Based on this research and our own findings, we know that kinesthetic, multi-sensory learning strengthens learning, improves memory, and enhances motivation!

Strengthens Learning

According to Eric Jensen in his book, Teaching with the Brain in Mind (2nd Edition), “Evidence from imaging sources, anatomical studies, and clinical data shows that moderate exercise enhances cognitive processing. It also increases the number of brain cells.”  In Syracuse, New York, interventionists helped pre-school students practice one-to-one correspondence and counting using multi-sensory cross-body exercises as well as the colorful floor mats. These students practiced for 30 minutes every day, five days per week, for six weeks. This urban, Title 1 school serves many students who come from low-income, economically disadvantaged backgrounds. By end of this short intervention period, almost every student was able to count to 20.

Improves Memory

Exercise gives the brain oxygen and feeds it neurotrophins (small amounts of nutrients) which increase the number of neurons. Studies show this process creates better cognition and memory (Kempermann, 2002). This could mean that by teaching a lesson through movement students may better understand concepts and be able to recall more information when taking a test.  In the Syracuse, New York, case study mentioned above, in addition to the leaps in learning, teachers also discovered a large increase in (1) their students’ retention of numbers when counting and (2) their students’ overall confidence when counting.

Enhances Motivation

When we engage students through movement, the brain releases a chemical called dopamine. Dopamine is like the “reward center” because it makes students energetic and happy. When dopamine is released, students are motivated and learning is encouraged. Success builds on success as students make progress and gain satisfaction in their new skills, and want to continue to grow the area that has brought them the positive feelings.

Start Incorporating Multi-sensory Learning In Your Classroom Today!

Math & Movement offers simple ways to introduce multi-sensory learning to your students. Start with skip counting activities and exercises as the building blocks for multiplication. The more your students succeed, the easier it will be for them to feel confident and be excited about learning. Math & Movement is state-standards aligned, making it easy to include in your daily lesson plans.


1 Jordt, Wenderoth 2014

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