This week, both of my learning opportunities collided - as they often do. (What I'm hearing in the university classroom intersects with what is happening in my elementary classroom.)
We were talking about the importance of movement...and its connection to the brain and learning; the need for kids to move; the lack of opportunities for movement in many classrooms and schools today; and so forth. With my first graders, I've been experimenting with moving as an overall part of our day - we start with some moving and stretching; we play moving games; we change places to sit when interest flags; and so forth.
A couple of times this week we've just jumped. We jump three times. I say something like, "Mr. Wiley is an old man and he can jump higher than you!" They say, "No!" And we jump three more times. Or five times. Or two plus three times. (You get the idea.) The kids have loved it. They especially loved it when the case for my glasses flew out of my shirt pocket. (Well, now I need to remember to take it out before jumping five times.)
Matt Gomez and some of my other Kinderchat friends talking about Just Dance Kids. So...I searched and found some on YouTube. We did "Kung Fu Fighting." The kids love it and I was hooked as well. When things seem a little slow - or the kids seem a little slow (or too antsy) - I have put on one of the videos. On Friday, I heard someone say, "He's turning on the music!" as I walked to the computer to get things going.
It's interesting that...with only 5 weeks to go with these first graders...I may have unlocked the key to this group of kids. We need to move more. I feel a little "stupid" not discovering it sooner. And yet, it seems that the entire year has led to this particular moment. We'll spend some time moving and jumping. And I'll definitely incorporate more movement throughout next year. I guess that's all part of the adventure, the exciting and interesting discoveries along the way.
Here are a couple of Just Dance mixes from Matt:
Just Dance - the original mix
Just Dance - Disney
How do you get your kids to move?