Teachers learn to use creative movement in the classroom

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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Ever since Any Given Child came to Meridian, teachers and students across Meridian and Lauderdale County Public Schools have been learning how the arts can be applied across the curriculum.

A Tuesday workshop focused on how teachers can use creative movement, or kinesthetic learning, to advance any subject.

“We have students who need to move; many of our children need to move,” says Dr. Penny Wallin, an associate professor of education leadership at MSU-Meridian. “Many of our student’s pre-K through 12 need to move, and how do we use that energy to teach whatever academic subject we’re teaching.”

Julie Hammond is the faculty lead for the dance program at the University of Southern Mississippi and is the instructor of Tuesday’s workshop. She says connecting the body and the mind will help students learn.

“I’m teaching them how to integrate dance with different academic concepts, how to use movement in the room to just involve the body with the mind in the learning process and to become more creative, expressive students in all ways,” Hammond says.

She also says this workshop will be beneficial to the teachers.

“Teachers are tasked with so many responsibilities these days in the classroom that knowing as many different ways to teach as possible is really helpful,” Hammond says.

This is part of the Partners in Education program, where MSU-Meridian and the Kennedy Center have teamed up with Lauderdale County and Meridian public school districts to integrate the arts in all classes.

“We want to get on the same page in terms of what it is we want our students to be able to learn, be exposed to, and how we can bring creative and state of the art ideas to differentiate instruction and really teach children the way they need to learn,” Dr. Wallin says.

Tuesday’s workshop was part 2 of a three part series. The other workshops include one this past November about using drama for classroom management and one this coming February about using visual arts to teach literacy across the curriculum.