The need for improved math instruction is vital, as recent Iowa test scores reveal that only 1/3 of Iowa eighth graders is proficient in math, according to the 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress. Research also indicates that early childhood education of math concepts lay the foundation for future learning and retention of math skills.
Essentially, how do students learn best? Brain research shows that students develop deeper understanding when they connect concepts in mathematics to experiences in movement. When students learn mathematics using a wide spectrum of learning modalities, their comprehension is deep and long lasting.
Working with the Waterloo Schools since 2008, Moving Through Math has addressed their goal of improving math instruction for elementary classroom teachers. Through a series of summer institutes, in-school classroom demonstrations, and teacher reflection, teachers are now more confident leading lessons that encourage students working collaboratively to explain and solve math problems.
Students understand mathematics best when they are actively engaged in their own learning and when learning is fun. Moving Through Math is an active, conceptual, and creative approach to teaching mathematics. Students explore mathematical concepts and their relationship to language, spatial reasoning, rhythm, body movement, and the imagination. Learn more...
The project was an enhancement of an existing project of the Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center, Waterloo Community School District, and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Teaching artists trained by the Kennedy Center led a three-hour participatory math and science workshops for in-service and pre-service teachers and also conducted demonstrative lessons for UNI education classes and grade 1-8 classrooms. These classroom demonstrations included movement exercises to learn the water cycle, systems of the human body, and the rainforest. Learn more...
Director of Education and Outreach
Assistant Director of UNItix