Thursday, July 14, 2011

Where has all the gross motor movement gone?

It seems that between school, homework, after school activities like T.V./video games, and our multiple methods of transportation children are becoming more and more sedentary. 

Is a sedentary life a bad thing?  I suppose it depends on who you are talking to.  For some, gross motor movement is a challenge, for others it is a necessity. 

However, gross motor movement does provide nuerological benefits, it is said to improve active working memory and problem solving.

Knowing that gross motor movement enhances activie working memory and problem solving where would you supplement your day with a little more gross motor movement?

Here are a few interesting websites that have ideas for including physical activity in the classroom:


Friday, July 8, 2011

The King's Speech

I had an opportunity to watch The King's Speech a few nights ago, what an amazing movie!  What was even more gratifying for me was I had chosen to review chapter 7 of the book "Mind over Muscle".  One of the forms of motor function mentioned in the chapter is oromotor (speaking).  The theme of The King's Speech is one man's attempt to overcome his speech impedement and all of the emotional undercurrents of that disability. 

A large part of the movie is the relationship between Bertie (the man to be King) and his speech therapist.  Bertie reveals layers of emotional baggage tied to his speech impedement and the speech therapist listens and eventually acts as a mentor, friend and therapist.

What is our role supporting kids?  Is it to be a diagnostician, interventionist, mentor...?


Spatial Perception

I wanted to make sure to create a section for spatial perception.  I am still trying to connect all the concepts I have floating around in my head about spatial perception, memory and output. 

One distinction, and it could be a small point, but I found it intriguing to think about is how spatial ordering contrasts with sequential ordering.  When things are sequentially ordered they enter your mind in a serial order; however, when the job of spatial ordering is at hand information needs to be taken in as a whole.

Spatial ordering involves such things as:

knowing left from right
working within the margins on a page
picturing chacters while reading
remembering where you put things

This distinction between serial order vs. taken in as a whole says something, but what does it say?


Friday, July 1, 2011

Chapter 6: sequential ordering

Several years ago I read about a math program that combined math concepts with dance.  I thought the program sounded really neat and at the time wondered how I could "sell" dance steps to teachers, let alone explain to students how dancing and math are related.  After reading about sequential ordering and perception in chapter 6 I can now see a connection. 
Mel Levine explains when parents suspect a possible dysfunction in sequential perception parents can teach their children rhymes, try an instrument that stresses serial ordering or try rhythmic dance.
If one were to teach a rhythmic dance with the steps of a math problem could it help students to better sequence the steps of a math problem and have the added benefit of helping students with general sequential deficits?
Here is a link to the article I read several years ago:
Here is their program: