Do you have students that slump in chairs, fall over nothing, or even fall out of chairs? The problem could be gross motor skills! Say what?!?
What are Gross Motor Skills?
•Major muscle co-ordination
•Body awareness –posture and control
•Balance –ability to adjust the body symmetrically
•Spatial orientation –awareness of how their body is positioned in space and in
relation to other objects or people
•Crossing of the midline –opposite from one side of the body to the other
•Lateral Skills –awareness of the left and right sides of the body
How can you build gross motor skills in the classroom?
I do a few fun things during transitions and skill practice to help build gross motor skills because there is not enough time during recess and physical education classes.
1. Lay on Belly
We lay on the belly on the floor
when watching videos, playing games, working on computers, or hearing books.It is very difficult for some students. Watch to see who sits up first! Check out this postabout Brain Research for other ways to help with learning.
2. Crab Walk
We crab walk or bear crawl around the room. Just be sure to have small groups go at one time. Everyone at once can be a mess!
3. Push Up Hold
Any practice that we do we push up and hold, just like planks! Who doesn’t love a plank!
You can practice counting, spelling words, math facts, names of planets, etc. Give it a try! How long until the burn when you say the ABC’s in a plank? I start to shake at about e!
Write or color in kneeling position. No sitting back on the legs.This really can be difficult because of the stabilization; students think it’s fun!
6. Provide Opportunities to Move
Think about ways to make your move and learn at the same time. I lay out numbers, students roll a dice (build numeration) and jump to the correct number. They love it. You can check my FREE dice jump game here.
Students that are more advanced use 2 dice and the numbers change from 2-12. Check out Number Sense Addition Facts Game; it has dice number cards as anextra bonus.
Don’t forget about recess! Climbing, running, and jumping are great ways to build gross motor skills! Do not skip this time because you feel like there are so many academic skills to hit!