Thursday, February 6, 2014

Book Review: Moving Smart Now "A Moving Child Is a Learning Child"

One of the most inspiring voices I’ve encountered in the world of Young Children is the team of Moving Smart Now!, comprised of Gill Connell and Cheryl McCarthy. Together they have written a must-have movement guide for anyone working or living with a young child. “A Moving Child is A Learning Child” takes parent, student, caregiver and teacher through the steps of “How the Body Teaches the Brain to Think”.

“Children aren’t born with body awareness.” Such a simple statement packs a punch once you really think about the complexity of development a baby undergoes while growing into a healthy and happy young boy or girl. Reading this book not only increased my sense of wonder about how children learn and grow, but deepened my understanding of how critical movement is to learning and the brain. 

“Gill’s Notebook” provides anecdotes and real life stories from Gill Connell’s 30+ years experience in Early Childhood Education. The book includes “Family Moves”, printable diagrams and handouts for families, as well as “Motorvators”, quick, easy games to promote movement in the classroom or to help transition a toddler from home to the next activity. Handouts explaining to parents exactly WHY and HOW freeplay helps their child grow are invaluable to any teacher or caregiver.

The book contains clear, attractive scientific diagrams and language to show how movement is the basis for all learning in young children. Does your daughter keep saying, “Again, Daddy! Again?” There’s a reason! And it’s all grounded in science, movement and learning.

Gill and Cheryl have created a “Kinetic Scale” that breaks down how the “Senses, Balance, Intuition, Power, Coordination and Control” are the key components to the development of language. “A Moving Child is A Learning Child” talks about how roughhousing is a form of Tai Chi for children and looking at a book upside down is the kid equivalent to an adults practice of yoga! Brilliant!

Movement is an area that often gets overlooked and ignored among the thousands of tomes on early reading and writing, yet movement is the basis for reading and writing. How refreshing it is to see exactly how the child is always doing the work of learning naturally. “A Moving Child is A Learning Child” interprets the child’s developmental movements and translates them into their correlating larger skill sets on the path to language, reading, writing and being a healthy, social child.

Cheryl and Gill take us “beyond gross and fine motor skills” and force us to take a hard look at the learning that goes on in the “whole body”. Included in the book are what to look for in high quality playgrounds and how crawling through tunnels and spinning helps the child develop later writing skills. As the adults creating the environments for children to learn in, we must be aware of what high quality learning spaces and opportunities look like for the young child and exactly how they translate to learning.

With more and more emphasis being placed on “academic achievement” for even the youngest of students and children, I cannot underscore the importance of this book enough. Policy makers, administration and the public, along with those who learn and teach alongside young children each day, need a constant reminder that the wiggles and spins and yells are all a part of the natural path to learning. Parents and caregivers can all benefit from becoming more in tune and aware of the vast and expressive non verbal world of the young child.

“A Moving Child is A Learning Child” helps us all see the child in the light of their most powerful voice, their movement! It’s a brilliant read with beautiful photographs, diagrams and layout, and it couldn’t have been written by two more knowledgeable and kind people who clearly delight in the world of children. Gill Connell and Cheryl McCarthy have created an essential resource for movement and the joy of learning. I highly recommend you get Moving Smart Now! and head right over to read this book!


Thursday, January 16, 2014

#Kinderblog, Day 14: Wordless Wednesday

I know, I am barely in under the wire on this one, but it is still the 14th in my timezone, so I am calling it fair.

It's Wednesday, which means you have no words to write!

Post a photo of the view from your window. Any window.

Fun, right?

Can't wait to see your view!

Sweet dreams, friends.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

#Kinderblog, Day 14: A goal for the week

Yikes, can you even believe I have posted on time, TWO DAYS IN A ROW?

Yeah, me neither.

Ok, for today, please complete the following sentence:

"I want to _____ with my class this week."

That's all. Easy, right?

Can't wait to read what you are all up to!


Monday, January 13, 2014

#kinderblog, Day 13: Monday lists

Look! It's me! Writing a prompt post ON TIME! (Not only on time, but EARLY, because it is actually Sunday night right now, and I am going to schedule this for the morning.) I WIN THE INTERWEBZ.

Ok, here's a nice, quick, easy post for a Monday:à

List 5 songs that make you sing. Or dance. Or both.

(Bonus points if you include sound or video.)

That's all.

Happy Monday, friends. May the force be with you.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

#Kinderblog Ketchup

(Ketchup... Catch-up... Get it? Never mind.)

Ok, folks, I am going to fly through the prompts that will get us all caught up to today, and then TOMORROW I AM GOING TO SCHEDULE THE PROMPTS FOR ALL OF NEXT WEEK. Because, clearly, I am unable to find a way to write 4 or 5 sentences every day. I BLAME THE PUPPY.

So, on Day 8: Wordless Wednesday! Post a photo of your favourite thing about your classroom, school, or office.

Day 9:  Walk us all through your before-school morning routine.

Day 10: TGIF! If you won the lottery, what would you do?

Day 11: Complete this sentence: "I get choked up every time I tell the story of _____"

And Day 12 (which is tomorrow, but let's just get it out of the day): Describe your very favourite article of clothing.

THERE. The ketchup/catch-up is done. Share your links in the comments so I can read your stuff.

And thanks for being patient with me.

Happy weekend, friends.


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

#kinderchat post-a-day, Days 6 & 7: A twofer

You guys. Believe me, the irony of missing a prompt during a post-a-day challenge is NOT LOST ON ME.

I don't even know what happened yesterday. I went back to school, and came home and went to #kinderchat, and then went to bed, and then woke up at 3 am in a panic that I hadn't posted the prompt, and by then... IT WAS TODAY.

I am pathetic, I know.

So, here are 2 prompts for the price of one:

Day 6 (That would be yesterday): Monday lists: 5 things in your backpack/briefcase/purse/tote bag.

Day 7 (That would be today): Complete this sentence: Before the end of the school year, I want to ____ with my class.

Ok, that is all. I will NOT FORGET TOMORROW'S PROMPT. 


Sunday, January 5, 2014

#kinderblog post-a-day, Day 5: When would you be?

Happy Sunday, friends. (Although, I know, it is bittersweet because most of us are headed back to school tomorrow and holidays are, alas, over...)

Today's prompt is kind of a fun one:

If you could live in any historical era, WHEN would you live?

Ancient Rome? The Renaissance? Roaring 20s? The Eighties? Last week?

Fun, right?

Ok, go!

And good luck tomorrow.

(And if you are one of the folks who already knows you have a snow day tomorrow, I am sorry, but I cannot talk to you right now...)


#Kinderblog Post-a -day, Day 4: When I grow up...

Crap, friends, it is already Day 5 in some time zones, and I am just now getting the day 4 prompt up... WHY DO YOU PEOPLE PUT UP WITH ME?!

Ok, quick and dirty so this post is not delayed any further:

When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Make the story as long or as short as you want -- feel free to tell us ALL the iterations of your dream occupations.

I can't wait to read (and this is one post that I can't wait to WRITE, too!)

Sweet dreams from the land of ice and snow;


Friday, January 3, 2014

#kinderblog post-a-day, Day 3: TGIF - the best thing about 2013...

I know I am a little late today, but it is still January 3rd, and you still have time to get this post up today. It's an easy (and fun!) one, I promise!

Share the very best thing(s) about 2013!

There, see? Easy peasy!

Share your post in the comments, here or on Facebook, and don't forget to tweet it out!

Happy Friday, friends!