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Wheaton Montessori News

Walk the Line. The Elliptical Line.

Categories: General Knowledge Fund

Walk Like an “Ellipse-ian”

If you observe in the Primary classrooms, you may notice a large ellipse on the floor.  You may have even seen the ellipse “in action,” especially if you’ve observed in Mrs. Carrillo’s classroom.  The ellipse provides a line on which students practice moving, waiting, and walking in line.  But…why?
“In order to get from point A to point B safely and appropriately while walking in a line, kids have to be able to regulate their behaviors and impulses.  This means keeping their hands to themselves, regulating their speed, regulating the volume of their voices, and maintaining appropriate body space with their peers.

Kids need to be able to attend to their teacher both by making eye contact and by listening intently for instructions and redirection.  They need to have the cognitive skills to navigate the layout of the school building by remembering where their classroom is, where the bathroom is, where the main office is, and more!

They need to demonstrate motor planning, coordination, and visual perceptual skills in order to navigate obstacles (i.e. their buddy who stopped to tie his shoe), stay in a uniform line, and ascend and descend stairs when necessary.

In short, waiting and walking in line at school is no easy task!” – Claire Heffron of The Inspired Treehouse 

Purposeful Movement is Purposeful Work, Too!

Some kids need an extra dose of movement to be ready for eating family dinner or to sit still for a story time (in a traditional story circle setting).  Movement comes through moving around and through a  hands-on approach – they need to manipulate objects, build things, take things apart, and explore.  In the classroom, teachers observe to make sure that each individual is getting purposeful movement according to his or her needs.  Movement is built into the design for each individual to move the amount that they need to stay focused and attentive.

 This is another reason recess is great: movement and exploration are the very foundation of healthy development.  It provides “valuable sensory and motor experiences that can help regulate his behavior and attend.”