Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Move Your Mind!

The workshop presented by Denise Mathieu last Tuesday focused on whole mind learning and specifically demonstrated how to incorporate movement and kinesthetics into a learning environment. Whole mind learning focuses on the concept of engaging multiple parts of our brain when learning a concept. If we learn with our entire brain, we can more easily recall facts and concepts because they hold multiple associations for us.

Denise demonstrated this by teaching us a few steps of the latin dance Salsa. She first told us the moves, then demonstrated, then both spoke and demonstrated and then discussed how to see the moves as a diagram in our mind. When she combined several techniques together we found that it was easier to learn the dance. We associated the moves with numbers and a diagram and also with visual and verbal cues. She then demonstrated how to use movements and students physical responses when teaching language.

Kinesthetic techniques can be used in any class. Having students identify the correct answer by pointing or having them associate a motion with a concept can help them remember. We wrapped up the workshop by brainstorming on how we could use multiple sensory techniques, tactile, kinesthetic, visual, verbal, etc, to teach to specific subjects. The bottom line was that simply getting the class moving encourages student participation and can help refocus students on the task at hand. Regardless of whether you jump around to demonstrate a specific concept or just to capture the attention of your audience, moving your students creates momentum to learn.

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