Students use SmartMoves to Stay Focused and Energized in the Classroom

SmartMoves in the Fifth Grade Learning LabSMsoftware_LS"We were at our wits’ end with several of our students who just had a considerably hard time focusing on the tasks in front of them. Using manipulative materials was most challenging for these kids as they could not keep the pieces on the table and were constantly dropping things on the floor, falling off their chairs and talking out about random topics. When looking at the FableVision site one day, I saw SmartMoves and immediately ordered it. My students loved using SmartMoves at the start of their lessons in the Learning Lab. Initially, there were giggles and self-conscious arm motions as the children began the program, but the kids quickly adapted to the program and enjoyed following the moves while listening to the music. The kids were noticeably calmer and able to focus after doing the moves. They always begged to do the harder sessions (which were really too fast paced for them). We started at the beginning and moved forward as seemed appropriate to their ability to follow along with the moves. On the occasions that I felt that I did not have time for SmartMoves, the kids would ask repeatedly why aren’t we doing it today? It really helps me to focus, it’s fun, and I love it, why can’t we do it today. Can we come down later and do it? I spent more time justifying why we weren’t doing it, than I would have spent doing the SmartMoves, that the attempt to save time usually backfired on me. I used SmartMoves in the Learning Lab and in the power reading room for my small group sessions. SmartMoves comes on a DVD, which I needed to play on my laptop, as I did not have access to a TV and DVD player. Disconnecting the laptop to move it to a convenient viewing spot was a nuisance well worth the effort. Some of my students are unbelievably ADHD so focusing and time on task always present a challenge, particularly for ‘boring’ (read as ‘hard’) math work. We certainly noticed considerable improvement to time on task and focus and energy level after doing the short sessions on the SmartMoves DVD. The kids had hoped that we would be able to show the program to their classroom teachers, but time never permitted that to happen. My goal for September is to make the time for the classroom teachers to watch the video and see how a few minutes spent with the program yields great dividends in terms of increased time on task and focus to instruction. Our school does Yoga in many classes, but I think for the quick hit with little to no fuss, this is a solid addition to a teacher’s bag of tricks." Nancy Kring - Burns, New Hampshire.