St Peters’ Junior Primary students have been consolidating their early literacy and numeracy in a whole new way this year.
Action based learning is a combination of movement and learning. By moving our bodies
in particular ways we are igniting parts of our brains and making them more susceptible to learning. The neural pathways developed when learning motor skills are also used when we are learning and consolidating new information. By making sure we have successfully developed the student’s fundamental motor skills we then know that we have in turn developed the neural pathways needed for learning. The proper development of these pathways will help students to grasp new concepts quicker, turn thinking into actions and retrieve and encode information from their memories (Ratey, J 2008). Obviously all of this has a massive impact on student learning and also their readiness to learn.
The program is running three mornings a week with great success. Year one teacher Claire Derrington explains “the students are considerably further along in their learning this year than they would usually be at this time of the year. They always return to the classroom focused and ready to concentrate after their session”.
The program not only provides benefits in the immediate environment it also benefits the studentsas they return to the classroom to continue their learning. The movement the students have performed forces oxygen and glucose to the brain at greater rates and feeds the brain much needed nutrients (Blaydes, J 1996). This helps the brain to be in an optimal learning state in the classroom.
Blaydes, Jean October 1996 The body/Mind Connection: Its implications for Physical Education TAHPERD Journal pp.9-13
Ratey, Dr John 2008. SPARK:The revolutionary new science of exercise and the brain. Little Brown and CO., NY Boston Learning and the Brain Conference Nov, 1999 The Care and Feeding of the Brain.