Gross motor development and the implications for learning
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AbstractThe purpose of this thesis is to identify the acquisition of developmentally appropriate gross motor and physical skills and to investigate the effects of incorporating physical activity into the classroom environment. I have explored current and foundational research literature to meet this goal with the intention, and hope that my findings will initiate further discussion and research work in this increasingly important area of development and curriculum for children. As an elementary and middle school student at the Progressive School of Long Island, I became intrigued by the high success rate of the students. I began to look for a common reason and immediately recognized the potential correlation between movement and learning. Every morning at the Progressive School, the entire student body gathered in the gym for a yoga inspired movement period. Throughout the day, movement was encouraged through classroom housekeeping, and running errands. The students also had outdoor recess every day, except in severe weather conditions. We brought boots, hats and gloves and played in the snow, helped rake the leaves and maintained our own garden. Play was so ingrained that we automatically created recess games combining physical and mental challenges.
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