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Ideas like this have gained a lot of currency since this book was published, which I think is a great thing. Smart Moves puts a scientific basis behind common-sense notions like letting kids run around a bit before class, but really digs deeply into the physiology of the brain.
Many of the exercises and techniques are applicable to everyone, not just children. One of my favourite techniques, though, is one for parents: The Time Game.
Then set a timer and allow the child to watch and wait for the time to count down. This is a great way to develop a time sense which many children sorely lack and patience.
Ms Hannaford also recommends a suite of exercises called Brain Gym : simple exercises designed to stimulate the brain and facilitate various learning modes. Brain Buttons Place one hand over the navel. With the other, gently rub the indentations between the first and second ribs directly under the collarbone, on either side of the sternum. This is said to make the brain more alert and ready to process information. Cross Crawl Walk on the spot with high knees, touching the left knee to the right elbow and vice versa.
This is said to stimulate the brain. Hook-Ups Can be done sitting, standing or lying down. Cross the ankles. Hold arms out, palms facing outwards, thumbs down. Cross arms over and clasp hands. Push elbows out and roll hands down and in so they rest on the chest with the elbows down. Also, rest the tongue on the roof of the mouth just behind the teeth.
This is said to stimulate whole-brain function and is a good calm down and focus exercise. Can be done a dozen times a day as it activates facial nerves, thus helping you to wake up and focus and assisting in communication. Thinking Caps Unroll the outer cartilage of the ears from top to bottom several times.
This boosts hearing and assists memory. Lazy 8s for Writing The Lazy 8 is an infinity symbol, drawn starting from the middle, then up to the left to do the left-hand anticlockwise loop, then the right-hand clockwise loop. It can be done large, on a surface with the whole hand to stimulate large muscle groups, or smaller the size of an A4 sheet of paper with a finger on a tabletop or pen on paper.
Do it slowly, at least at first. This relaxes the muscles, facilitates visual tracking and generally improves flow in writing. Lazy 8s for Eyes Similar to Lazy 8s for Writing, but done with the thumb in mid-air, vertically. Maybe I will try both. This improves hand-eye coordination. It also apparently improves eye-hand coordination, but surely this is the same thing! An alternative version works on exercising the eyes. In this one, you turn the infinity symbol 90 degrees so it is end-on to your body.
Start with your thumb a bit out from your body, move it up and away, then down and away and back, then up towards your eyes and down and back to complete the lazy 8. This makes a great break when working at a computer. The Elephant Place the left ear on the left shoulder, like a child pretending to be an elephant, and do Lazy 8s for Eyes times slowly and deliberately while following the fingertips with the eyes. Then swap and do the same with the right.
The author suggests that you can also stimulate the hearing mechanisms if you add elephant noises. For some reason I find this quite amusing. Later on, the book discusses the use of medication such as Ritalin in education. This can be summed up nicely by this quote by Special Education teacher Tucker Janes:. The use of drugs far exceeds our understanding of those drugs, and our motivation in this treatment is disgracefully oriented more towards control than education.
It was first published almost 20 years ago — I hope that in another 20 years the education systems will look more like the ideas in Smart Moves. Western Culture has long separated the mind from the body; and the mind, with its home as the brain, has been privileged as the source of intellect, with the rest of the body annexed as mere matter. He gave a good talk at the RSA about it. Your email address will not be published. Smart Moves — Carla Hannaford. This review is about books , education , psychology.
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Smart Moves : Why Learning Is Not All in Your Head
Ideas like this have gained a lot of currency since this book was published, which I think is a great thing. Smart Moves puts a scientific basis behind common-sense notions like letting kids run around a bit before class, but really digs deeply into the physiology of the brain. Many of the exercises and techniques are applicable to everyone, not just children. One of my favourite techniques, though, is one for parents: The Time Game. Then set a timer and allow the child to watch and wait for the time to count down. This is a great way to develop a time sense which many children sorely lack and patience.
Smart Moves — Carla Hannaford
A refreshingly new view of learning and learning problems; it is seldom that we find something so really original and groundbreaking written about education. Knowledge from the neurosciences, information about how bodily movement, emotional expression, nutrition, and the social and physical environment influence learning, are all brought together in a remarkable synthesis. I have never seen a better guide to creating more effective learning situations in home and school. A powerful revelation of the full potential of the human mind and body. Carla Hannaford shows why and how the body plays an essential role in all learning.
Tag: carla hannaford smart moves
In Smart Moves , Hannaford looks at the body's role in thinking and learning, citing research from child development, physiology, and neuroscience. In her book, Hannaford offers alternatives to enhance learning ability. Included in the list are: de-emphasizing rote learning; more experiential, active instruction; less labeling of learning disabilities; more physical movement; more personal expression through arts, sports and music; less prescribing of Ritalin and other drugs whose long-term effects are unknown. She also details the roles in learning played by various areas of the brain, and examines the interplay of brain, body, and environment. Hannaford is an advocate of movement and play in learning, discussing the importance of sensorimotor development visual, auditory, tactile, and kinesthetic readiness to the learning process. She provides several case examples of children whose learning improved remarkably through use of the Brain Gym activities, as well as including her own research done with Brain Gym. In Smart Moves , Carla Hannaford describes how emotions and the physiological stress reaction can affect the everyday lives of both children and adults.
Smart Moves: Why Learning Is Not All In Your Head, Second Edition