Step up and down on the stool with one shoe off. Now switch and do it again. What do these exercises have to do with learning? They stimulate the brain and help students prepare to learn, according to NeuroNet Learning, a new program Bright introduced this year for grades PK-2.
Throughout the school day, you are likely to find students doing these exercises in their classrooms as directed by the avatar on the screen. Some might be using short stools or lying on the floor. Sometimes they have their shoes off or wearing just one shoe. Some exercises are silent while others have the students calling out sounds, letters, numbers or words.
One afternoon, Mrs. Cooper’s first graders went through their program and finished with two exercises that help with handwriting. As they stood on stools, they followed the avatar by drawing letters in the air. When that exercise was over, they got out their workbooks to write the letters, with each stroke of the pencil directed by the avatar. “This is my favorite part,” said Mrs. Cooper. “I can tell a difference already in their handwriting.”
Teachers participated in a training at school over the summer about how to implement the 20-minute program in their daily activities.
“We decided to add this as an enrichment component of our academic day. As a faculty, we strongly believe there is a connection between strengthening a child's coordination of motor skills and academic achievement,” said Assistant Head of School Christy Lusk, who oversees curriculum and instruction. “Daily practice and intentional exercises provide students with opportunities to increase stamina and core motor movements. The ultimate goal of this implementation is an increase of fluency in foundational reading, writing, and math skills for our students over time.”
According to NeuroNet, the program “integrates the auditory, visual, vestibular and motor systems to provide neurological learning readiness. The 20 minutes of daily practice are fun for the students and help them to automate the basic skills of reading, math and handwriting. Each program is designed for a particular age group, using appropriate developmental milestones. One unique feature of our program, is that the students are practicing making the speed and accuracy network in the brain, which produces fluency in decoding, vocabulary, math computation and handwriting.”
For more information, visit the NeuroNet Learning website.