Why Use Kinesthetic Learning in Your Classroom?
The current math crisis shows that students struggle to learn math using traditional teaching methods. Rote memorization and practice problems take individual math topics out of context and make later math concepts more confusing. Additionally, many students have a lot of energy that reduces their ability to focus in class, especially if they have been diagnosed with ADHD. But, there are teaching techniques that take advantage of these problems to help students understand math. Kinesthetic learning uses physical activity to teach classroom material and engage students with what they learn. Best of all, it’s easy to integrate into your lesson plans.
What is Kinesthetic Learning?
Kinesthetic learning, also known as tactile learning or movement-based learning, uses physical movement to teach students new material. These activities include stretching, yoga, dancing, cross-body movements, and cardiovascular exercise. When students use their whole bodies to learn, muscle memory gained from the activity reinforces the neural pathways created during the learning process.
What Are The Benefits of Movement-Based Learning?
Students and teachers have a lot to gain from using kinesthetic learning techniques in the classroom. Integrating exercise with learning increases cortical mass, blood flow, and oxygen delivered to the brain. Physical activity also increases the number of pathways created between neurons in the brain, which in turn improves cognition and retention.
But what makes kinesthetic math so effective? When students learn math through movement, games, and activities, they begin solving problems more creatively. The exercise they get from kinesthetic math games helps them focus and retain new classroom content. Students with ADHD learn best kinesthetically, and the exercise improves their attention span and mood regulation. When students enjoy learning, math doesn’t become a chore- it becomes a fun, interesting subject they’ll love!
Curious about just how much students improved after they learned by moving? The proof is in the numbers!
How Do I Get Started?
When you first integrate movement-based learning into your lesson plan, start with kinesthetic math games. Skip counting using whisper-loud movements use cross-body movements to teach multiplication tables. Here’s an easy movement to try with your class to practice skip counting by 2s!
Some kinesthetic math games use manipulatives, like stickers and floor mats, for hands-on-learning. Math & Movement’s floor mats help teach concepts through movement-based activities. Each mat includes a set of suggested activities appropriate for students at multiple grade levels. Using these materials during math or PE classes adds extra physical activity to the school day while teaching new class concepts.
During the day, transition periods between classes and activities can take away valuable learning time. Setting up a sensory hallway between classrooms gives students extra time to practice new concepts. These pathways encourage students to practice concepts by moving through wall and floor stickers. You can even create a learning opportunity in your school’s stairwells!
Interested in using kinesthetic learning in your classroom? Check out our website to view our full range of products. For the full Math & Movement experience, consider signing up for one of our workshops. If you have any questions, send us a message. We can’t wait to hear from you!