Wednesday, July 13, 2016

K is for Kinesthesia

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the definition of Kinesthesia is

a sense mediated by receptors located in muscles, tendons, and joints and stimulated by bodily movements and tensions; also :  sensory experience derived from this sense”

When I am in meetings or sitting still, I love to knit. My hands are in constant motion which helps me focus better on what is being said. I tell people that I pay attention better when I’m moving.

I realize that students are the same way so I do not make them sit still for long periods of time. If I am lecturing or if they are listening to something, I allow them to stand in the back of the room if they need to move their feet or I give them a small squishy ball to play with at their seats.

I’m amazed at what a difference this makes during my lessons. When I allow movement, the students are more engaged. By allowing movement, I had less behavior problems and less attention seeking behaviors distracting the class.

I don’t mean having total chaos in the room. Before the lessons, I establish acceptable places for movement if necessary. I also offer the squishy balls ahead of time or leave them in a place where students know they can get them if necessary. By giving them permission to move, students seem less likely to rebel against motionless lessons.

I have seen that in some classrooms, they even have adjustable desks where students may stand at the desks instead of sitting. What a novel idea!! Of course, it seems that the cost is high right now which may be prohibitive for some schools. But if more and more schools start using these, maybe the costs will come down.

How do you incorporate Kinesthesia in your classroom? Please share.

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