Tuesday, November 25, 2014

How Movement Games can help "That Child"

Your child comes home complaining about "That Child", the one who bites, hits, yells, pushes etc. As a parent, you worry about your child but as a teacher, you worry about all the children as well as how to deal with parents!

Teachers have the job to make sure all kids are safe and learning in their classroom but in the face of a disruptive or aggressive child, ("That Child"), all their attention goes to solving the problem. Every day teachers worry about how to deal with that child as well as how to give their attention to the children who are not acting up, communicate positively with all the parents and promote a positive classroom. This blog gives us a glimpse into the teacher's perspective.

I also come into contact with "THAT CHILD". The minute I walk into a classroom to teach a movement class, that child is easy to spot!
But, I have seen huge improvement in their behavior and their acceptance and integration with the class with fun movement activities that teach emotional and social skills.
Why does movement help?

  • Children are physically, emotionally and cognitively engaged
  • Positive social interaction is expected from all children
  • Children learn from each other and have the opportunity to make their own choices
  • Every child experiences small "successes"
  • Positive group interactions create a feeling of community and camaraderie
Here are games that  teach skills that help "That Child" as well as the entire class-

Impulse control and Emotional Intelligence

Freeze a Feeling-Using a freeze dance model, have children freeze in body shapes that represent different feelings. Teacher should comment and recognize by pointing out details. (“I can see you are mad since your arms are crossed” or “Your hunched shoulders show me that you are sad”).

Flexibility and Awareness

Choo-choo trainsIn groups of 2, children hold onto each other’s shoulders and one leads the       other around making sure to regulate speed, avoid obstacles and create a safe path. All children     move at the same time. They switch roles so both can have the opportunity to lead as well as follow.

Focusing and Self control

Obstacle Course- Set up a variety of objects and demonstrate various ways to move through them such as: jump in 4 hoops, weave around 5 cones and leap over a pile of beanbags. (Tip- Create images for each action such as animals). Have children move through the obstacle course over and over again.

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