STEAM – Integrating Movement into Learning Professional Development

Location of STEAM Power teacher professional development, Seattle Museum Tourism Experience Music Project – Creative Commons

How can teachers use movement-based activities in the classroom?  This is one of the questions that came up as I attended this year’s STEAM Power (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) day long professional development event for educators.   I chose to attend the “Math Moves! Science Struts! Brain-based Strategies for Kinesthetic Leaners” session as I was interested in how I might incorporate movement into my teaching.  I primarily work with elementary age students which was the focus of this professional development session.  What were some of the takeaways?

Besides being a whole lot of fun, this session was a way for me to add some movement based activities to my tool belt.  We used stretch bands to come up with various geometric shapes, came together to make a machine (team-building aspect), and grouped up to make a dance about the journey of a water droplet.  As I have learned through this workshop and at IslandWood, arts integration can be an excellent summative assessment for your students.

Working as an outdoor educator I’ve seen how much more relaxed and focused students are after a team-building activity or other game that requires movement.   Understanding the energy fluctuations that students (and myself) go through– more focused and energetic in the morning, and more social and less energetic in the afternoon, I have been able to tailor my lessons accordingly.

See my blog (link) for how I’ve adapted my lesson plan to prepare my students for a more focused activity:  http://wp.me/p7RAVF-5P

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