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ERIC Number: EJ1046452
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1054-0040
Movement Matters: Observing the Benefits of Movement Practice
Fuchs, Melani Alexander
Montessori Life: A Publication of the American Montessori Society, v26 n4 p30-37 Win 2014-2015
Montessori's first premise is that movement and cognition are closely entwined, and movement can enhance thinking and learning (Lillard, 2005). Children must move, and practice moving, to develop strength, balance, and the stability needed to fully participate in the rigors of daily life. It is imperative for young children's motor development that, on a daily basis, parents and teachers give children opportunities for physical activity. Children need time to explore, walk, run, climb, touch, smell, see, and hear the natural world. It is also imperative that teachers begin to implement opportunities for gross-motor development within classrooms. As a physical educator and movement specialist, Melani Fuchs observes children and adults in the four phases of motor development: Reflexive, Rudimentary, Fundamental, and Specialized. Here she explains that each phase lays the foundation for the phase that follows it. In this article Fuchs explains each phase and details their natural developmental progression. Having seen a need for a classroom Movement curriculum after working with special needs children within a Montessori environment, Fuchs, in collaboration with professor Diane Craft, a faculty member of the Physical Education Department at the State University of New York at Cortland, created "Movement Matters: A Movement Album for Montessori Early Childhood Programs" (Fuchs, M. & Craft, D., 2012). The album provides a developmentally appropriate Movement curriculum for Early Childhood and early Elementary programs, with in-depth explanations and illustrations of motor development concepts. As teachers cultivate an understanding of these concepts, they develop new insights and, ultimately, new techniques to assess and assist children's pathways to mature movement skills. Teachers will find practical suggestions for leading children in physical activities as well as a discussion of Maria Montessori's philosophy regarding movement. The album's lesson plans and activities are written specifically to give teachers the means to normalize movement in the classroom (to make movement a "right" choice), thus accommodating the child's natural need to move. The lessons encourage children to move to learn, to understand movement concepts, to master movement skills, to develop self-awareness, and to become joyful, healthy movers.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A