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kinesthetic learning

Kinesthetic Classroom Management: Problems & Solutions.

As we know, research on movement-based learning has established that the inculcation of kinesthetics in classrooms has a huge impact on attention, retention and memory during the learning process.  The newly launched Indian education policy of 2020 also mentions art integrated learning in a big way. Although all the upsides of kinesthetic learning are evident, when asked, teachers highlight certain hurdles they have to overcome to employ this novel method of education.

Teachers’ Troubles-

Despite agreeing with the logic and principles of kinesthetic learning many education professionals believe that their implementation is held back by certain circumstances.

  1. Small Classrooms- This is the prime reason that holds teachers back. They feel that due to the size and interiors of their classrooms an active learning environment will not be conducive. Therefore, they stick to the traditional methods of teaching.
  2. High Classroom Strength- This ties in to the previous problem. Teachers feel that too many students will be tough to manage and the effort may prove to be counter-productive.
  3. Conduct & Safety guidelines- There is no structured syllabus for active classrooms just as there is for a traditional classroom. Therefore, it is obvious that the teachers will face difficulties in maintaining a code of conduct and safety when implementing these measures.

 As you can see in video 1 given at the end, the teacher faces these problems. Still, she is able to overcome them, and carry out their kinesthetic activities with ease.

      The Real Biggest Hindrance

A great man once said, ‘where there is a will, there is a way.’ All the reservations the teachers have towards movement-based learning although valid, are trumped by a much bigger and core drawback. We ourselves are not conditioned to move. When teachers condition themselves to movement, the classroom will follow.  No matter the circumstances.

The Ultimate Solution-

Given below are few tips and tricks which will help teachers who are willing to move out of their comfort zone and are willing to use kinesthetic lesson plans on a regular basis.

  1. Understand & Explain Safe Movement- The students need to understand how to move around the class during activities. Teachers must explain, demonstrate and modal to them what safe movement is and how to carry it out.
  2. Explain To The ’T’- Kinesthetic learning methods are as new for students as they are for the teachers. This is why being eloquent and thorough with instructions is a must for all teachers.
  3.  Enable The Environment- Before the commencement of any activity or movement, there are a few prerequisites. All the clutter must be cleared. Stationery and books should be put into bags, desks should be empty and if the classroom is slightly small, the bags should be put under the desks. This clears up some space and also ensure no child trips or falls over something.
  4. Remember Active-Passive. – Creating an Active Classroom does not mean that students are moving all the time. There needs to be a balance. Be sure to include breaks between movement and activities.

A Must- Do Classroom Management Game-

Here is the game you can play to establish, understand and practice safe movement before you start using movement-based learning in the classroom

  1. Clear up the desk and the walkways.
  2. Tell students that a game is going to be played. The teacher will play the music and the challenge would be to move around the classroom freely without touching any of their peers or any objects. 
  3. As the music stops, the students can take big steps and slowly walk back to your desk. No running back to your desk is the second part.
  4. Now play some music or if that’s not possible clap your hands and tell your students to move around the class as you do. As you stop clapping or pause the music instruct them to return to their desks slowly
  5. To add an element of fun, teachers can change the walk to hop, gallop, slide, walk very slowly / fast etc
  6. Initially for the first month when you start any lesson plan start by playing this game and reminding them of the challenge.
  7. You will be surprised just in a month, you will be able to move the full class anytime without worrying much about safety and chaos and the tone will be set for movement-based learning for the full year.

 A visual reference in video 2 & video 3 is given below of this activity for all those who would like to see the activity play out.

Shown below are the videos of Sacred heart school in Kalyan where all the teachers of the school beautifully enabled a safe and engaging kinesthetic learning environment.  Hope these videos act as a source of ideas and inspiration for all the educators reading this.

Video 1:- The teacher playing the game to teach children safe movement and the teacher has also trained the students to quickly make groups to carry on a kinesthetic lesson plan after that.
Video 2:–  1st Grade teacher teaching addition through an active lesson plan.
Video 3- 2nd Grade teacher teaching comparative and superlative degrees in language through kinesthetic learning.

By swarapatel

Program Director at Agile Kids.
Co-Founder Rhythmus HappyFeet, Bombay Ballet Company, Bloomville Early Learning Centre.
Head of Orchids International Schools Performing Art Division from 2017 - 19 with 35 schools under her purview.
MBA, Dance educationalist, Member of the International Dance Council, Dance Therapist certified BY CDI France and CMTAI, Kinesthetic Teaching Expert & a performing artist.
Trained at Danceworx in Jazz and Ballet.
Was an official contestant in DID super mom (A reality dance show on ZeeTV)

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