Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Getting our rhythm down....err sort of!

We started our first day of getting our rhythm down today. I am exhausted and the kids are going strong playing! We made it through our movement circle with Nickolaus not behaving at all. He thought it was quite funny to pretend he was dead at the end of one of the songs and it wouldn't have been to big of a deal had he not been laying in our path to walk around and his older brother thought this was a great time to tackle him! Elysa was a model student and cooperated perfectly! She has always been my A student and loves to learn...the boys are a different story! Our movement circle is a big part of learning for the kids. We are using the Enki Education Kindergarten Learning through Movement Seasons and Skills program again this year. This program relies on Neurologically focused developmental movements to strengthen the vestibular, proprioceptive, tactile, auditory, visual, midlines, hand and finger coordination and wrist flexibility. These developmental movements are imperative to all learning and the formal circle that includes games and activities that lay a rhythmic foundation for later academic pursuits is supportive of later learning. Skills needed for both academic and artistic pursuits also require significant fine motor coordination and we use finger plays to support this development. We use seasonal songs and verses to coordinate with the current season to establish another important academic element. We are also using the song "Autumn" as our recorder song. We sing the song and then follow with a "ta-ta" that creates the same tongue movement and light breathing we will use on the recorder and practice holding our hands as if we are holding a recorder. We are working with the "Alphabet Verse" to begin the school year and will move into a math academic verse later in the year.Our current movement circle consists of the following songs and verses:
Round and Round
Sailor Boy
Colored Leaves
Loud Winds
Little Squirrels
The Apple
Alphabet Verse
Round and Round

To an outsider, the movement circle may look like just playing and exercising,but it covers quite a vast amount of major academic work in various subject areas and lays the important groundwork to future success in many areas. The preparation and leading of the movement activities takes a great deal of time in preparation in making certain that the circle will cover the day's basic movement work requirements, learning the correct movement for each song or verse, and making certain that the chosen full sequence of circle activities rhythmically flow together and establish a sense of "moving as a group."

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