FPDS is on the Move

by Mindy Boyd

Standing desks, bouncy bands, stools and ball chairs are a few of the new and exciting things that have FPDS on the MOVE.  The new equipment is part of our focus to create a kinesthetic classroom.  But, what is a kinesthetic classroom?  What does this mean for your child?

The word kinesthetics simply means movement and is one of the three learning modalities we all use to receive and learn new information.  The other two learning modalities, visual and auditory, are learning styles that are easy to incorporate naturally into the classroom.  Recent school visits on the east coast gave FPDS administrators and teachers an opportunity to see how top performing schools were effectively incorporating movement in their classrooms.  These visits sparked our desire to research and implement movement in FPDS classrooms.  That ultimately led us to bringing in Mike Kuczala, co-author of The Kinesthetic Classroom:  Teaching and Learning Through Movement to provide training to our entire staff and parents.

Now that you have an understanding of the word kinesthetic, let’s take a look at what you may see in your child’s classroom and how it enhances the learning process.  During our teacher training, Mike introduced the teachers to his framework known as movement with purpose.  Teachers were taught how to prepare the brain, provide brain breaks, support exercise and fitness, develop class cohesion, review content, and teach content all by transforming their classrooms into kinesthetic classrooms.  In addition to learning how to incorporate movement with purpose, Mike provided our teachers with the scientific brain research on how movement enhances brain function, refocuses attention, reduces sitting time, provides an opportunity for implicit learning, and engages students.  This would explain why you may see classrooms of students doing the Nose/Ear Grab, where students grab their nose with one hand and crossover with their other hand to grab their opposite ear and switch on the teacher’s command. You know now that they are simply preparing the brain for learning.

Movement in the classroom sounds fun, right?  It is!  As we have learned through our research, incorporating movement effectively and consistently into our classrooms creates a learning environment that actively engages our students in the learning process.  This new learning environment that incorporates exciting and stimulating elements is what has FPDS on the MOVE.