Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Right or Left Brain?

Children of all ages have different ways on acquire learning. This is from what we observe our children do differently at Letzhop. One third of our students in the class may be excited about coloring pictures all day long while the other 2/3 of them prefer counting numbers and learning alphabets. It was quite challenging for us, teachers to understand them at first – having very few experiences handling young learners, but all we kept having in mind is that, “this must have something to do with how their brain works!” and from what we have been reading, a young child’s brain will let its dominant side to take over, without blending it in order to reach the brain’s full potential (Lipoff, 2011). 

In her article also, Lipoff highlighted that the brain consists of two main sides which known as the right and the left where the right side of the brain controls the left side of the body and otherwise (2011). Right side of the brain is responsible for creative, social, visualize skills and intuition while the left side deals with language, math and rational thought. The integration of the right and left parts of the brain encourage the working of the whole brain which enable the brain to reach its full potential. Thus, it is crucial for the children to learn through various types of activities that suit them that may help to integrate the right and left side of the brain. 

So, here at Letzhop, we let our children go through an interesting session every morning before class which we call the Hello! session that incorporates the Brain Gym exercises to initiate a fun learning mood (Letzhop Ready-to-Learn).

 Our P level students are doing the Log Roll

These are our Three-2-Six students doing the Log Roll early in the morning!

The exercise movements that we adapt from Brain Gym help the students to activate the brain cells and also to prepare their body for the upcoming activities of the day. We adapt the Brain Gym movements and activities from the original 26 Brain Gym movements and these activities replicated the movements that are naturally done during the first years of life when one learns to coordinate the eyes, ears, hands and whole body. Some example of movements that the students do at the centre is crawling, Commando-crawling, rolling and Bear-walking. 

We also incorporate PACE – Positive, Active, Clear and Energetic before the children activate their brain buttons. Well, brief information of how the abbreviation works; 

  1. Energetic – before we start off the activities, the children are encouraged to sip or drink some water. Not any water, it has to be a glass of plain, H20. 
  2. Clear – they need to clear up their minds, while breathing slowly, massaging their collar bones or what the teachers and Letzhop children call, the Brain Buttons.
  3. Active – our children will be guided by the teacher to do some cross-crawl movements – they could either touch their elbows and knees (crisscross movement) or as simple as by touching or patting their hands to their knees (left-to-right or right-to-left), slowly, at a medium pace.
  4. Positive – this is when our children start to relax their minds from the active movements done in #3. They will do interesting movements that we call “Hook-ups”. They will cross their ankles, extend their arms in front and cross one wrist over the other and clasp their hands up towards the chest. While doing the “Hook-ups”, the students are to inhale, touch he tip of their tongue to the root of their mouth at the hard palate and relax, before exhaling. 
The movements that we do with our children bring about dramatic improvements in areas such as concentration and focus, memories, academics, physical coordination, self-responsibilities, organization skills and attitude whenever we start the lesson in class. 

At Letzhop Shah Alam, we really believe in encouraging our students and even parents to do the movements so that they could see the wonders of using both the right and left sides of the brain. 

Authored by,
Teacher Siti Hajar 
LETZHOP Shah Alam 

Lipoff, S. (2011, April 26). Funderstanding. Retrieved November 3, 2014, from http://www.funderstanding.com/theory/child-development/right-brain-vs-left-brain-children-and-creativity/

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