Movement Learning at Uru Academy

Uru Academy is proud to announce new daily gym classes! Our children and teachers spend all day engaged in lessons, ranging from math and English to vocational skills. Teachers routinely have children stand up, move and sing between each subject. Still, classes that sit all day see a drop in attention. Each class at Uru Academy now has one hour a day dedicated towards gym class!

Physical activity gives the brain a break, time to absorb learned information. Our gym class teaches children cognitive and social skills through games and sports. Our gym teacher, Mr. Donacian, incorporates fun and developmentally-appropriate curriculum into his gym classes. Freeze dance becomes an opportunity for children to development their inhibition skills. Controlled breathing in yoga becomes a tool for emotional learning. Jumping through circles becomes a math lesson on patterns and numbers. Every game teaches children English through instruction!

Gym is not the only time we incorporate movement learning in our daily routine. Movement learning is especially helpful for our kinetic learners. These children learn more through doing than they do through a traditional classroom lecture. Physical activity can help children apply what they learn in class to their real life. Take for example, Sensia. Sensi is a new child in Class A. She is learning how to count in English, but was having trouble with flashcards and counting objects in class.

During one of our gym classes we played “What Time is it Mr. Lion?”, a variation on the American children’s game “What Time is it Mr. Fox?”. In the game, one child plays the lion and the rest call out “what time is it Mr. Lion?” The lion then responds with “it’s time to take two steps”, or as many steps as they would like. The children then take that many steps forward. When they are close to the lion, the lion announces “dinner time!” This cues the rest of the children to run away, often laughing the whole way.

Sensia was able to watch her friends take each step with her, counting together as a team. She learned through playing, movement and peer guidance. After playing a few times, Sensia had counting up to five mastered! We look forward to solving future challenges with our kids through gym class and movement learning!

Mandy