Students at Cathedral Academy at Pompei (CAP) in Syracuse were jumping, stretching, reading and calculating June 13, thanks to the school’s new Math & Movement materials.
Math & Movement takes a kinesthetic approach to teaching math and literacy, allowing students to work their bodies and their brains simultaneously. Hopscotch-like mats display math concepts, such as addition and multiplication, and reading concepts, like sight words and letter sounds. Students calculate or read aloud as they hop along the mats.
Math & Movement activities include cross-body movements, “which engage both the left and right hemispheres of the brain,” explained CAP kindergarten teacher Rachel Golja. The mats can be used in the classroom or in the gym, and accompanying stencils can be used out on the playground, she noted.
The school purchased the Math & Movement materials through contributions from the Gifford Foundation, the Central New York Community Foundation and other donors, and will implement the learning system in classrooms next year. Golja said she will use the mats in her classroom to help her students learn “skip-counting” by 2s and 5s, as well as addition, subtraction, letter sounds and sight words.
Fifth grader Faith Annan, 11, was among the students who got to try out the mats in the CAP gym. She said she was excited to use them in school next year. “They’re very educational,” she added. “By moving and learning, it gets into your head – it’s like training your brain. It [Math & Movement] combines it into a whole package.”