Does the National Math Foundation’s core curriculum, Math & Movement™ align with the Common Core State Standards?
Yes. Please click here to see the alignment
Is there research that supports the idea that movement enhances learning?
In the recently published book, Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, (2008 Little, Brown), author and Harvard clinical associate professor of psychiatry, John Ratey, argues for more physical fitness for tier 1 students to improve academic performance and reduce obesity. According to Dr. John Ratey, physical fitness is like “Miracle-Gro” for the brain. “I cannot underestimate how important regular exercise is in improving the function and performance of the brain,” he writes. Exercise stimulates the brain to produce extra BDNF (brain-derived-neurotropic factor) which is used to enhance the development of new neurons (and their connections).
His book summarizes some recent research: A study in California found a correlation between fitness and test scores in both upper and lower income brackets. In both groups, children who were more fit performed better academically. A professor at the University of Illinois duplicated these findings.
In Titusville, Pennsylvania, where 75% of children receive free lunches, the school day was restructured to shave 10 minutes from academics and put it into physical education. Scores went from below state average to 18% above in math and 17% above in reading.
How can teachers include one more activity? Their day is already packed.
The intent of these suggested activities is to offer students a mental break. Math & Movement™ will energize your students during morning meeting, after lunch or during transition times (in between lessons, walking in the hallway or waiting in line) The activities take between 10 seconds and 2 minutes. Math & Movement™ utilizes down times. The Math & Movement™ activities simultaneously strengthen math ability, offer movement breaks, and energize students.
Some of our teachers are opposed to leading the movement activities. Can we still include Math & Movement™ ?
Encouraging the children to lead his/her classmates in the Math & Movement™ activities strengthens leadership skills in children. In addition, when children lead, the teacher has the opportunity to help struggling children.
Are there additional advantages of the Math & Movement™ program?
Obesity in America has reached an epidemic level. Combining learning math and physical activity promotes wellness while strengthening children’s math basics.
Our elementary school is not compliant with our state regulations regarding the required number of minutes for physical education. Can Math & Movement™ activities be used to become compliant?
Yes. Classroom teachers may lead the students in physical education and receive credit for the physical education minutes, provided:
- The Director of Physical Education puts the additional minutes for physical education into the district physical education plan.
- The Director of Physical Education approves the physical education plan.
- The Physical Education (PE) teacher supervises the PE activities (the PE teacher does not have to be in the classroom, but he/she does have to be available to answer technical questions).
- The physical education in the classroom is monitored and tracked with a form.
- The classroom teachers receive professional development instruction on the activities and how to keep track of the physical education minutes.
- The extra physical education minutes are written in the classroom lesson plans.
- Physical education is integrated into other core subject areas.
Please note that the above comments may differ by state. Please contact your state education department for final approval.
Our Elementary School is 60 minutes short in physical education per week. How can Math & Movement™ activities be incorporated into our school without disrupting our existing schedule?
Math & Movement™ can be incorporated in three four-minute chunks of time per day, fifteen minute segments for four days a week or twelve minute segments each day. The individual classroom teacher can thus lead the activities at his/her convenience.
Does Math & Movement™ promote equity?
In order to eliminate race, class, and disability as predictors of success and offer an equal educational opportunity for all children and youth, we must provide equitable learning conditions for all students. This translates to offering kinesthetic learners opportunities to learn through movement.
Research indicates that children in poverty are more likely to be kinesthetic learners, thus Math & Movement™ provides high quality education to youth from low-income neighborhoods.
The unique movements in the Math & Movement™ program strengthen one-to-one correspondence which is a prerequisite for learning arithmetic. Children with weak skill in one-to-one correspondence are at a disadvantage immediately. Math is cumulative. Deficiency in basic skills puts children at a disadvantage for their entire mathematical career.
For which ages/grades is Math & Movement™ appropriate?
Math & Movement™ is appropriate for kindergarten through third grade. In later grades, children benefit from the addition of Math & Movement™ to physical education classes and the use of Math & Movement™ warm-up exercises at the beginning of math classes.
We have sixth graders who still don’t know how to multiply. Can Math & Movement™ help?
Math & Movement™ can strengthen math basics at any age, including high school.
Is skip counting helpful for children who already know how to multiply?
All students benefit from the practice of skip counting. After children learn to multiply, the continual practice of skip counting facilitates the process of learning division, fractions, factoring, algebra and advanced mathematics.
Why is movement so important for learning in young children?
Children love to move—and they need to move. Too much sitting results in decreased circulation and a subsequent decrease in concentration, while certain kinds of movement stimulate the release of dopamine and noradrenaline in the brain, which are important in learning.
Why should I include Math & Movement™ activities?
Math & Movement™ harnesses a child’s natural inclination for activity and turns it into enthusiasm for acquiring number concept skills. Thus, Math & Movement™ motivates students while simultaneously strengthening their math skills.
Can the Multiply With Me Instructor’s Manual and Student Workbook be used in the classroom?
Yes. The only change that is necessary to use Multiply With Me in the classroom is to use stickers instead of food items for counting. In fact, in a recent pilot study conducted in a first grade classroom, children using the Multiply With Me program showed an average 550% increase in math ability after only 17.5 hours. And the children loved the activities.
Are there other books that demonstrate the relevance of movement to enhanced learning?
We also recommend Brain –Based Learning and Enriching the Brain by Eric Jensen; Smart Moves by Carla Hannaford and What’s Math Got to Do With It? by Jo Boaler.
Do I need to use tape to secure the floor mats to the floor? How do I tape them down? What tape do you recommend?
Yes—always use tape to secure the floor mats. Tape the top of the floor mat on the left and right corners. Tape the bottom of the floor mat on the left and right corners. Tape the middle of the mat on both sides of the floor mat. We recommend Scotch 3M packaging tape.