Third graders don’t like to sit at their desks, so learning math during physical games keeps them engaged and focused. At Clinton Elementary School, the can dance or play dodgeball as they work to solve problems.
This new approach to classroom learning started as a project based learning exercise a few years ago. Students are learning their math facts during very physical games. “If they just read about it, they aren’t going to understand it,” said teacher Teresa Pickarts.
Activity isn’t only present in math class. Teachers have had student build a farm themed mini golf course, and diosaurs. They won’t be building shoebox dioaramas in favor of building a life size Native American pueblo from boxes and a cacti out of PVC pipes.
“You keep trying to find new things they love,” Pickarts said.
Classroom movement is a growing interest for Pickarts, and this year she is using it to motivate math students. Skip counting was learned through skipping and jumping jacks. “More and more studies are being done that show a connection between activity and academic achievement. Memory and concentration are improved when students get active,” Pickarts said.