//Movement, Also a Natural Tendency

Movement, Also a Natural Tendency




Yesterday, some Primary (3-6 year-old) children were sorting pictures into two piles, “plants” and “animals”.  The plants might have been green, the animals might have been able to move on their own. There are clues that sometimes help us sort most plants from most animals.


Sometimes, we sort “living” and “non-living” things.  This can be more difficult than it looks.  Usually, the living things can be seen to move.


Maria Montessori, in 1949, explained what she had observed, that movement is a natural tendency. She pointed out in her book, The Absorbent Mind, that the nervous system has a brain, or center, the senses, which collect the impressions and the muscles, which do the moving, all connected by nerves, “like cables for transmitting nervous energy to the muscles.” The reason for all this organization is to allow the organism to move, she instructed:  “Movement is the final result to which the working of all these delicate mechanisms leads.”


“When we think of intellectual activity, we always imagine people sitting still, motionless,” Montessori said, “but mental development must be connected with movement and be dependent on it.”


So, we move in school.  The freedom to move about is sacred to us, almost as sacred as the freedom to choose our own work, which we may address in a later blog entry.


Here are a few illustrations of movement within the normal school day, during our long work periods and during our group activities such as setting up for lunch, playing outside, carrying out classroom cleaning chores, or singing and dancing in celebration:


Placing the cubes and prisms of the Binomial Cube back in their box, looking for visual cues and feeling their weight and their smooth faces, noting the colors of the faces.


Removing all of the knobbed pieces representing the countries of Europe from a puzzle frame and placing them on a mat.


Turning the pages of a book and looking at the unfolding story, taking a step towards reading.


Testing the senses, problem-solving ability and strength with a climb.


Arranging tablets of different shades in a color wheel.


Gathering to tell the story of an Addition, after dumping three trays of Golden Beads and counting them all.


Leaning in to listen to an older child read a story.


Swinging, leaning back and forth without a push, getting another perspective of the world.


Examining some rough bark, taking in aspects of its arrangement on the tree.


Holding the quatrefoil Metal Inset shape and tracing it.


Placing the tiles representing 10 x 1 through 10 x 10 in the last row of the Decanomial Square.


Embroidering a piece for a quilt.


Gathering puzzle pieces representing the countries in Africa and getting them to fit back into the frame.


Checking on an experiment in progress.


Moving arrows and symbols around to accomodate pieces of a long sentence that is being cut apart and laid out in a pattern illustrating its subject, predicate and other components.


Using a different pencil grip and a different movement of the hand for sketching.


Marking time zones with pieces of paper that indicate what time it is in each depending upon the time in the first zone marked.


Moving with care to enter a difficult pose with teacher's help and encouragement.


Separating the components of a very large cube.


Gathering to work out an issue together.


Preparing for Soup Day.


Sprawling on the floor when necessary to comfortably reach the entire area of one's work.


Moving color-coded beads on a Decimal Board to denote quantities into the millionths and carry out arithmetic operations with them.


Preparing to act out a scene.


Returning from the field on a brisk day.


Entertaining parents at a luncheon with a Snow Fairies dance.


Leading a celebratory song with the guitar.


Finishing a holiday craft project.


Do you agree with the idea that we must move to learn?  Why or why not?


Thank you for reading our blog!




2017-11-14T22:22:48+00:00By |Early Education|