Brain Gym®  for Educators
(Link to "Brain Gym for Educators" course)

Brain Gym provides a tool for improving performance by helping the body make self-adjustments for growth. It encourages change and development through movement. It can be used in groups such as the classroom, as well as in one-on-one situations for specific difficulties.

Teachers use Brain Gym in the classroom to help prepare students for learning. The exercises are generally used as a group activity, with all children participating. When appropriate, a teacher, EA or special-ed person will practice Brain Gym on an individual basis, selecting exercises and other techniques to meet a student's specific needs. Brain Gym is also used successfully to help upset children compose themselves after a hurtful or frightening experience.

Teachers who use Brain Gym regularly report high interest among their students - to the point at which children will ask for the exercises and perform them enthusiastically. Check these experiences described by teachers involved ...

Classroom

After a frenzied recess, Mrs. Smith's grade 3 students come tumbling into class. Some are eagerly talking and laughing. Others are still bumping into each other as they come in the door. There's brooding anger in Bill's eyes from an unresolved hurt which translates into a shove and a kick. Class is not ready to begin yet. Mrs. Smith turns on the music and the students know to take a drink from their water bottle if they need it and many of them thirstily guzzle it down.

The five minutes of movements that follow help the children to focus on their work; from the animated cross-crawl, designed to ensure that both hemispheres of the brain are working together, to the calming hookups. Bill lingers a little longer in hookups - he knows it will calm his anger so he can think straight. Mrs. Smith just gives him a smile and starts teaching her now attentive class.

"Doing brain gym in the classroom is like having an extra set of hands in the room at all times. It's that dramatic. It helps kids think, focus and generally learn."
(From The Toronto Star, January 10, 1999)

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John came into senior kindergarten with a history of behaviour problems. He ran away a lot, was inattentive in class, and had little concept of friends. He could not track with his eyes, and would not look you in the eye or make eye contact. He could not run or roll well and did not like physical activity. Both large and fine motor development were very poor. He was unable to hold a pencil correctly.

We did Brain Gym with the whole class daily. John had much difficulty initially with the cross crawl. Working with him one-on-one, we also did lots of lazy 8s and encouraged extra activity. His parents agreed to do Brain Gym at home with him.

Four weeks later, John now enjoys physical activity. He has friends and plays more appropriately. His attention span is longer and more focused. He was able to concentrate on illustrating a story while junior kindergarten played all around him. His fine motor and tracking skill show a marked improvement. (From an eastern Ontario public school.)

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Professional

"In 1991 in Botswana, I was invited to work with trainees of the Botswana Insurance Company who were preparing for their Insurance exams. Though people had taken the exam each year, the pass rate had hovered at less than 30%. After my six hour session with these people in February, they committed themselves to continue using Brain Gym when they studied. Every single one of them passed the exam in May. One man, named Walks Tall, had worried the examiner by spending the first 30 minutes of the timed test doing Brain Gym. He was the first person in Southern Africa to receive 100% on the Insurance Exam." (Carla Hannaford, Smart Moves, Great Ocean Publishers, Arlington, Virginia, 1995, p. 116)

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A senior management person had been assigned a job that required numerous speaking engagements. This worried him as he found that he had difficulty expressing himself even though he knew his material very well. He seized up in these situations and the words would not flow. He did a two hour Brain Gym balance on the goal of speaking more fluently and spontaneously when addressing groups. He has been speaking regularly now for several months and says happily, "Now the problem is they can't shut me up!"

 


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