Island Moving Co. offers its Math Into Movement residency, integrating creative movement into the math curriculum for Second Grades.
The Core Curriculum Math Standards for the second grade call for fluency with addition and subtraction; using measurement tools and developing a foundation for understanding area, volume, congruence, similarity and symmetry. These skills are essential for success in school and seem to lend themselves brilliantly to the visual and kinetic aspects of dance. Island Moving Company’s residency also helps kinetic learners and other students who struggle with math improve their performance. Lessons learned and understood kinetically can acquire a new clarity and power.
A National Dance Education Org. study found that kinesthetic activities, in this case dance, facilitate the kinesthetic learners’ exploration of abstract geometrical concepts, enhance their problem solving skills, and enable them to develop a mathematical thinking process… Enacting geometry by using spatial configurations, computing number functions through rhythms and patterns, and finding algorithms through movement are ways of going beyond visual representation of functions, and engaging the learning body in experiencing the processes directly.
The curriculum addresses two of the 2nd grade math standards: addition and measuring time.
2 concepts from the common Core Math Curriculum are explored in 4 lessons, two lessons for each concept. Critical in this is that the teachers learn the movement lesson with the dancers before the dancers bring the lesson to their class and then repeat the lesson with their class independently. All second grades can have the same Math Into Movement lesson in their classroom with their teacher present, at the same time in the same day.
The classes take place over a four -week period. A sample schedule:
Artistic Director Miki Ohlsen and Education Director Christine Sandorfi meet with all second grade teachers for 15 minutes during one of their Common Planning Sessions to explain the process for the curriculum, how integral they are to the project and to get them on board and excited about it.
Introduce and teach lesson 1 and 2 of the first concept to all 2nd grade teachers during their Common Planning session.
IMC dancers teach lesson 1 of first concept to 2nd grade students in their classroom. Teachers repeat lesson 1 at some point during the week.
IMC dancers teach lesson 2 of first concept to 2nd grade students in their classroom. Teachers repeat lesson 2 with their students at some point during the week.
Introduce and teach lesson 1 and 2 of the second concept to all 2nd grade teachers during their Common Planning session.
IMC dancers teach lesson 1 of second concept to 2nd grade students in their classroom. Teachers repeat lesson 1 of second concept at some point during the week.
IMC dancers teach lesson 2 of the second concept to 2nd grade students in their classroom.
Teachers repeat lesson 2 with their students at some point during the week.
Finally, the IMC dancers and the 2nd grade teachers will meet to evaluate the curriculum, make changes and suggestions for improvement. The teachers will receive a copy of the lesson plans in the IMC Playbook, where it will serve as a guide for future use of the movement concepts in the classroom.
Cost: the Math Into Movement residency includes four in-school workshops for each 2nd grade classroom (cost: $100 per workshop) plus 3 meetings with the teachers in their Common Planning Time. Including planning and administrative costs, the residency should cost between $2500 and $3500, apart from classroom teacher time, for a school with 4-6 2nd Grade classrooms.
“The number combination movements are just a great way for students to look at numeracy. We literally use this combination each and every day in my class (both as movement breaks and as extensions for what we are learning in class). We have taken these movements further to discuss patterns in numbers, place value, and multiplication. My students know it inside and out and enjoy using it as part of our daily number talks.”
“The movement based math program was an absolute success in my classroom! My students enthusiastically looked forward to each week when Brooke, our instructor, came to teach. I found that adding dance helped my kinesthetic learners grasp the mathematical skills that we were working in class more readily. I will definitely continue to use what we learned in my classroom! My students were active and engaged in their learning! I think it would be great if we could introduce a movement program that builds as children move up through the grades to help teach these skills.”
Island Moving Company’s Math Into Movement curriculum was developed with two grants from the Frances R. Dewing Foundation. Support for Math Into Movement residencies in the Aquidneck Island schools has been provided by the Newport County Fund, the van Beuren Charitable Foundation, BankNewport and the Secret Garden Tour.