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How can Brain Gym movements motivate learners?

Doing Brain Gym movements prepares the neural pathways through movement for higher-order thinking and participating in life – even when it feels hard. Learning is tricky and motivation to try is not always there and available; let’s consider how moving the body impacts the brain and can help a learner regain focus to engage in their own learning journey. 

Here I will tell a short story describing how Brain Gym movements can ‘move’ someone into a flow learning state enabling better comprehension while allowing more enjoyment ‘in’. I’ll discuss these key concepts:

Engagement, Connection, Movement, Technology & Outcomes

Engagement

There was one child with learning difficulties, one school task and a whole lot of resistance

School task:
To comprehend the meaning of a block of ‘text’
To decipher how the ‘tone’ and ‘intonation’ was used to portray meaning
To then express oneself using ‘tone’ and ‘intonation’

If the text is not understood it’s not going to have any meaning to the reader.
The child is stuck, disengaged, and feels like they can’t / won’t achieve the task purely because it’s hard/beyond their capability /interests. No No no he said.

Connection

  1. Grab a book that has a relatable story line (in this scenario – we got to ditch the school text) The new book was a little bit challenging but not overwhelming.
  2. Ask the child, did you know that reading can be enjoyable? No No NO – still….

Movement

  1. Let’s move – and involve some large motor skills with throwing/catching a small bean bag and wake up the core muscles while we do some crossing the midline activities. Hmm a bit of a smile has crept in.
  2. Let’s sip water and sit on the floor – on a cushion, back against the wall and back straight. A few deep breathes. Oxygen flow to the brain is improving. Let’s read together. Nice and slow and clear. Oh that’s a tricky word, I’m not sure I can say that either.
  3. Quick check in, of comprehension. Great, 5 pages we set out to read are done, now let’s read it again, this time with expression. 
  4. Child has moved from a ‘getting it’ state, feels safe and is now taking in new information with a sense of achievement ‘got it’ state.

Technology

  1. Grab a recording device either audio/video and ‘record’ Music to my ears was the child laughing at his own tone/intonation as he expressed his version of the story. 
  2. He loved watching the replay and couldn’t wait to upload it for his teacher to see. 

Outcomes

  1. His smile was priceless and his mum shed a little tear.
  2. Finally, the same goal set out by ‘school task’ was achieved. 

The Brain Gym moves I did with him helped him to overcome his overwhelm, become more present and he was able to tap into his innate intelligence where he could be expressive, funny and enjoyed reading for a change.

Stepping back and seeing the big picture is often necessary before we can hone in on the details.

If you think Brain Gym could help your circumstances, I would love to hear from you. Book a free chat here

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