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On the Bright Side

July 12, 2013

Workshop to combine math and movement

Students at the Oneonta Family YMCA will be participating in a workshop next week that could help promote math and movement around the country. 

The activities are for students in grades K-6 that are part of the YMCA’s Summer Fun Program, the organization’s child enrichment director Heidi Tanner-Brantley said Thursday. There will be six sessions, half at the YMCA and the rest at Hartwick College for the students. They will be involved Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Hartwick is the headquarters for the Summer Institute’s teacher training in the Math & Movement program offered by the National Math Foundation. That takes place Sunday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. The program is designed to help students learn more, retain more and gain valuable basic math skills by exercising their bodies and minds, Tanner-Brantley said. 

A similar program program was offered at Greater Plains Elementary School on May 20.

“The Y is excited to partner with the National Math Foundation Summer Institute and enrich our participants mathematically while encompassing the YMCA mission which is to strengthen our community through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility programs,” Tanner-Brantley.

Andrea Theis is the institute coordinator. She is a substitute math teacher at several area schools. 

Teachers locally and from as far away as Kansas and Michigan will be using the Math & Movement curriculum, “but we are going further in providing a solid foundation for participants by giving them the opportunity to practice the theory,” she said. 

Math & Movement is a multi-sensory approach to teaching math and reading that incorporates physical exercise, stretching, and cross-body movements. The program uses visually pleasing floor mats that allow students to practice basic skills while using activities that combine visuals, sound and motion. According to a media release about the program, “The program harnesses children’s natural kinesthetic learning style to foster positive feelings towards learning.” More information is available http://www.mathandmovement.com.

Research has shown that students learn more quickly with movement, according to the release. 

“We are building a team of educators who will continue to work on the skills after the program and encourage others to do so,” Theis said. “They can network and support each other.” Anyone wanting to attend or observe a session can email Theis at atheis@stny.rr.com. 

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