Represent and Retain – How Movement Flows to Memory

By Phonics in Motion on April 8, 2020

Represent and Retain – How Movement Flows to Memory

Don’t Get the Jitters Out!  Use Them!


Students need to move and wiggle throughout the day.  Children by nature have a difficult time staying still for long periods of time.  Many teachers use “brain breaks” to allow students a chance to move and “get out the jitters” so that they can be more focused and on task during lessons.  

What Phonics in Motion does when implemented in the classroom is use the jitters to learn!  The KMPs, part of the daily lesson structure, provide students with the opportunity to use their energy and desire to move to learn and incorporate new concepts!  This approach offers duel benefits to students because they are using their natural ability to interact with their environment to learn!  


Movement is a crucial part of retention

The reason PIM is so successful with students is that it naturally incorporates embodied learning into the classroom.  The concept of embodied learning has been around for quite some time, but it may not be something that teachers are familiar with.  Embodied learning is incorporating movement into lessons thus using your whole body when learning new material.  

Research has demonstrated that when students are able to move and connect those movements to learning, their ability to construct knowledge is enhanced.  The pathways formed through this connection allows students to not only retain the information, but make further connections to new material that is presented.  The approach of attaching physical movement to learning not only helps students construct meaning, it also is fun and engaging for them!

students using movement to learn


Incorporating Movement into Lessons

It can be a struggle to plan lessons that incorporate movement, but PIM takes the frustration and guesswork out of planning.  Daily movement is a staple of PIM lessons. The KMPs, which students learn and practice, are introduced in a manner which allows students to use previously taught KMPs to expand to new ones.  As a teacher, you are able to easily incorporate movement as a part of your daily lesson structure. Students will naturally be more engaged as they learn and practice these movements while making connections to their meaning.  Because they are immersed in this approach to learning, they will be able to use what they know to connect new ideas.  

The movements through KMPs are not only used in reading, but in writing as well.  When students start to write, they are able to recall sounds and blends as opposed operating with only with the visual image of the letter, which can be very tricky with the nuances of our language.  


Let’s Move and Learn

When students are able to incorporate their natural inclination to movement and use movement to construct meaning, they will retain more information.  You may have observed your students use this skill without realizing it. When observing a PIM classroom, students are not sitting still, facing the teacher.  They are actively engaged in the lesson because it incorporates movement. In addition, the movements associated with KMPs are designed to correlate with specific sounds, such as with the /ch/ digraph.  Because the KMPs correlate with how the sounds is made or articulated, children are able to easily connect with the concept.  

An effective classroom is an engaged classroom.  PIM fosters this naturally through their lessons because it incorporates the strengths of students.   Children require the opportunity to move through the day, so why not use that natural inclination to learn?


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