Mindful Brain-Building Exercises no one is talking about for Math Skills
This article provides suggestions for mindful brain-building exercises that can help kids with math skills. Integrated Learning Strategies (ILS) is a learning and academic center. As a reminder, ILS is not a health care provider and none of our materials or services provide a diagnosis or treatment of a specific condition or learning challenge you may see in your child or student. If you seek a diagnosis or treatment for your child or student, please contact a trained professional who can provide an evaluation of the child.
A study in Time Magazine may surprise you. When we think of teaching kids math and common core strategies, we automatically think of numbers. However, this study, Mindful Exercises Improve Math Scores, points to mindful brain-building exercises as they key to better sequencing and math skills.
What are these exercises and how are they used for math? The study basically describes how a group of fourth and fifth-grade students in British Columbia were placed into two groups for the school year. The first utilized the “mindfulness method” in the classroom and the other group was in the “social responsibility” classroom, which is standard in Canada and the United States.
The students were studied and analyzed for four months using these methods, and after a short time, the results were incredible. Compared to the students in the social responsibility program, the students in the mindfulness program had 15 percent better math scores, performed 24 percent higher in social behaviors, improved their cognitive abilities, had significantly less aggressive behavior, and many other improvements.
So what is mindfulness and can we as parents modify some of the classroom programs at home to help our students succeed at Math? First, we must remember organizing the brain for math skills involves more than just quizzing our children on their times tables. To effectively prep the brain and our child’s memory for retaining numbers and visualizing math facts in our heads, children need purposeful movement exercises.
Why are mindful exercises important for math skills?
In the Time Magazine article, it discusses how some of the students in the classroom would participate in a program that focused on sensory enhancing activities, similar to what you see here. The kids participated in mindful sensory exercises that combined eating and smelling as well as cognitive exercises where students could see and discuss issues from another’s point of view. The program also involves three-minute meditation sessions, three times a day, in addition to learning gratitude and doing kind things for each other. Mindful movement and body awareness exercises were used as well.
What Mindful Activities have to do with Math Skills
So what do we do with all this information about mindful brain-building exercises and this really cool study for math concepts? The best place for parents to start is to implement some of these activities regularly. Any activities that help with Math and your child’s understanding of numbers is very important. The great thing about mindful exercises is you can quiz your child with math concepts and math games while they move.
Mindful meditation doesn’t have to be long or drawn out. You can make it simple and easy for kids. Your child or students really only need maybe three minutes a day to benefit from mindful meditation. You can build up to more time when the child is ready.
Use a place that is quiet and free from distractions. Ask the child to sit or lie on the floor for two to three minutes and close their eyes. Kids who take just a few minutes out of their day to have some much-needed quiet time will open their minds to trying new ideas and reorganize their thoughts. This is especially important for kids who have trouble with sequencing.
Kind acts really help with math skills? Ironic huh?! When kids are being more mindful of others, it helps them see situations from a different perspective. As we all know, math requires a lot of problem solving and looking at problems in new and different ways.
When kids work with other children, especially when they offer to help others, it’s creates problem solving situations. Each person is unique and different. By allowing our children to provide acts of kindness to others, we are helping them discover how each person ticks. What are their likes, dislikes, interests, talents and lifestyle.
As kids take an interest in others, they may begin to look at social, emotional and logical situations in a different light. This is what we want our kids to accomplish with math skills. Use all their skills to look at numbers, problems and sequences from all different angles.
Body Awareness Exercises
Body awareness exercises are great brain-building activities for all children and you can start out with simple movements. A few of these exercises every morning before school gets the brain prepped and ready for learning. Here are a few of the exercises we suggest practicing every day to help him cross the midline for improved learning.
Integrated Movement Activity Center
If you still feel your child has not developed the necessary skills for learning readiness, there is more you can do to help.
The Integrated Movement Activity Center provides parents and therapists with step-by-step videos to strengthen all areas of the body and the brain. Parents and professionals can use the activity center to help their kids and students “awaken” the brain for higher learning development.
Integrated Learning Strategies is a Utah-based center dedicated to helping mainstream children and children with learning challenges achieve academic success. Our services provide kids with non-traditional tutoring programs within the Davis County, Kaysville, Layton, Syracuse, Farmington, and Centerville areas. Areas to find Integrated Learning Strategies include: Reading tutors in Kaysville, Math tutors in Kaysville, Common Core Tutors in Kaysville, Tutors in Utah, Utah Tutoring Programs
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