Bodies in Motion

Continuing with The Third Teacher, the next section, titled “Bodies in Motion” deal with the importance of movement and learning. Number 20 to 29 in their 79 ways to use design to transform teaching and learning are:

20. Make peace with fidgeting

Kids fidget. It’s part of brain development. Deal with it.

21. Decide on dynamic

22. Swivel to attention

23. Make classrooms agile

Whether teaching on the floor, outside, or at desks, having a flexible space and keeping kids moving throughout the day, impacts learning in a positive way.

24. Respect fitness facilities

Several years ago, before she retired, the PE teacher at our school saw the need to build fitness into the school day and together with our PE program, our kids have PE everyday. Being someone who never really got into sports, I absolutely detest going to the gym. I love going for long brisk walks (but only on nice days – in Seattle, that doesn’t work for about 9 months of the year). It’s amazing that all the kids seem to love physical activity. When its built into the culture, it becomes the norm.

25. Take the “ground” out of “playground”

I’ve noticed that there are more after school programs that deal with circus and acrobatics arts. I think that’s pretty nifty.

26. Promote healthy play

27. Naturalize play spaces

With our school’s new focus on sustainability (the focus of section 5 in this book), we are gaining a lot of new outdoor play areas and a school garden. The landscaping will also include native and sustainable plants. Hopefully there will be areas where kids can play among the plants.

28. Scale the wall

29. Free choice

Allow kids in some of the decision making. This includes curriculum,  class expectations, game rules, and how to solve problems.

I wonder if we can apply this to some of our faculty meetings. If we met in small clusters and discussed school themes/issues as we went for a walk. I keep thinking that all that apply to children, also apply to grown-ups, but that change is gradual and takes time.

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