A movement program that is solidly based on the developmental needs of children can have many school-wide benefits. These include...
In seating a student behind a desk, we as teachers and parents are anticipating that the child is physiologically ready, or soon will become ready, for the year’s tasks. But realistically, every child will struggle with some aspect of the academic environment: it might be a challenge to sit in balance, or to listen quietly, or to muster the fine motor skills for writing. Thus, we must remember that through movement, every child can be helped in some way to reach his or her full potential.
From early childhood through high school, experience has shown that classes of students who are provided with appropriate daily movement activities are able to move ahead more solidly. Benefits of these activities include:
Waldorf Education and Multiple Intelligences
Harvard professor Howard Gardner has written a number of best-selling and academically acclaimed books centered on his theory that intelligence is multidimensional. The concern that “America needs to be competitive in a global marketplace” and the desire for objective teacher evaluations continue to provoke an ever-increasing emphasis on language, science and math achievement. Results: computers in the nursery; non-reading kindergardeners labeled as ‘delayed’; and the elimination of ‘frill’ classes like music, art and phys ed.
Because most Waldorf parents and teachers understand the value of our schools’ approach to Main Lesson, the attached chart is offered as a way to help parents and teachers take a fresh look at the importance of things that happen after 10:30 – both for the way they round out the student experiences and for the support they give to the subjects that are defined as common core.
—> Printable poster-size chart
—> Tambien en Español... gracias a Benjamin Moreno de México
The teachers at Spring Garden Waldorf School recently used this chart as an illustration for a brilliant and detailed blog series discussing how each of Gardner’s intelligences is fostered in the Waldorf classroom. —> Take a look
The Waldorf Movement Forum
—> Send in a contact form if you'd like to join; please indicate your school and teaching position.
Boys and Girls in Movement
Stereotypes and Archetypes - Balancing Gender Needs in Elementary School Movement
Although boys and girls have many developmental-movement needs in common, they also have important differences in the ways they use movement to structurally organize their perception of and contact with the world. These needs that should be addressed in our Waldorf classrooms, schoolyards and games classes. My goal in this article is to review perspectives on this vital topic, from a number of informative sources; to see how these seemingly disparate sources might be connected; and, I hope, to inspire further research and discussion at your school. —> READ PDF
The “Thinker” Pyramid
Here’s a nice and unusual acrobatic stunt I got from the Ithaca Waldorf circus. The bottom base gets on hands and knees. Others, from heaviest to lightest at top, assume the Thinker statue posture.
Announcing the third session:
Gym & Developmental Movement Intensive Week
June/July 2016 at Aurora Waldorf School (Buffalo NY area)
After two successful sessions—in summer 2013 and 2014—we will be taking a break in 2015, and then coming back again in late June/early July 2016. If you would like to be on the email list for notifications about this, please use the Contact Page.
The learning goal of this course is to enrich and enliven teaching approaches, starting with the insights of Rudolf Steiner a century ago and then linking these to more recent research and methods. The emphasis will be on activities for grades 1 to 4, but we will also experience how these transform for older classes. We will examine the foundations of healthy development that occur through movement, and experience how these foundations can be joyfully built through ‘old time’ gym, schoolyard and backyard games once played by children all over the world. Thousands of such activities are to be found in books for gym teachers and recreation directors published between 1910 and 1950.
Each day will include five hours of movement and two hours of supporting pedagogical theory. Sessions will include techniques for identifying needs, planning lessons around individual or class problems, sensory integration, addressing specific academic/developmental goals. Following is an outline of the course content.
Games & Movement Categories:
Rough and Tumble Play… Wrestling Games… Development of Throwing & Catching…
Active/Exercise… Danger/Pursuit… Circle/Musical/Clapping… Party/Quiet/Blindfold… Enrichment Activities and Remedial Sequences…
A Lower-Grades Model for the Waldorf Circus:
Low- or No-Spotting Gymnastics Skills… Acrobatics… Zoo Exercises… Mat Agilities… Circus Skills… Apparatus & obstacle course… Tumbling Games
Workup Games for Sports
Baseball variations, Tennis, Volleyball, Aussie rules football ...and more
Pedagogical Lectures and Seminars
• A system of movement categories
• Fourfold human being; Twelve senses
• Hope, Love and Faith: applying Rudolf Steiner’s Pedagogical Law
• Postural control in the light of Anthroposophy
• Sixteen keys to developmental movement needs; Learning challenges & mainstream labels
• Developing/promoting a movement program - and how to communicate your goals
Sidebar topics: Competition; Teasing; the Olympics model; Comparative movement needs of boys and girls
Remedial & Artistic Activities
Including shaded drawing and painting handwriting