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Brain Gym/ Wake Up, Shake Up to music!

Discussion in 'Primary' started by syoung1985, Jan 31, 2011.

  1. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    We have 1hour 45 mins before our first playtime and 1hour 15 mins before lunchwhich is a long time to sit still and concentrate when you are only 5 ...
  2. greta444

    greta444 New commenter

    My original point is that Brain gym and other similar rubbish is a waqste of time, not that children shouldn't move.
  3. Sunscorch is just hot-headed and young and benefits from the youthful grace of rushing in where fools fear to tread and dismissing any council to the opposite effect as unworthy mutterings of the old and innane- or where those of longer years perhaps see that whilst for sure all that glitters in not gold but yet some things work even though in mysterious ways and not always for the reasons they think they do.
    I suppose Greta there is the unstructured, whirl of activity that is playtime; that is no doubt very important, and there is another time of movement which has within it the potential for another type of interaction between not only the child and their body , but also the child and their teacher.
    Many are the teachers are there not who give to their most restless children the release to move on an errand, or class task, or even even to introduce and take a new initiative (although this is more and more dificult under certain school planing demands)?. Who has not listened to their class humming a tune and then looked for and found that song in you-tube to play to the class only to be amazed at the spontaneous class concert, or even the co-ordinated, as-one leap to their feet to reveal a shimmy, shake or body roll previously concealed in even the most heads-down-and-on-with-work class?.
    I personally have no expereince of Brain Gym and so have to take themost vehement denouncements on here as evidence that it didn't manage to convince all of the teachers all of the time! But perhaps all that Brain Gym sought to do was to call our attention to the child's need for movement, to give permission to focus on this most elemental of human relationships - that of the mind and the body.
    To remind us as we become ever more focused on actiivity of the mind - the targets, objectives, criteria and measurements, that the life of the body, they physical self, the significance of a stroke on your cheek, to rub your belly and pat your head, to see the double jointed girl, or the break-dancing boy, is to be reminded again of the multi-faceted miracle of life.
    Way back at the start of this thread someone mentioned the difficulty of sitting hours a day next to someone, without the opportunity to move or to make the moment your own, having to study material which is presented to or at you with little or no escape. Which none of us as adults could do every day ever again, once school has finished. Yet that is what we expect from our children day in day out.
    I would be intersted in hearing a real scientific examination of the real difficulties in learning engendered by this type of school system- which give or take group size is still an industrial model conceived of centuries ago and whcih we haven't been able to change as yet - either with good science or bad.

  4. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    and my point is that the exercises themselves aren't rubbish if you ignore the "science" associated with them. As part of a movement program or as a warm up /cool down in PE they have their place.
  5. In what possible way could you consider wanting scientific evidence that a scheme of work/activies is effective in the ways it says it is, and for the reasons it says it is, before paying out ridiculous sums of money for it, "rushing in where fools fear to tread"?!
    My position is, in fact, the precise opposite of the caricature you have presented.
  6. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    what ridiculous sums of money?
  7. BrainGym don't publish figures online. But I would say that paying anything for advice that amounts to "move the kids about about because people seem to find it improves their work a bit" is ridiculous.
  8. ........ because thou doth shout too loud...... There is no doubting your commitment to the facts and the truth - above all other considerations you hold those to be sefl-evident traits of good teaching. Hats off and good luck to you in your efforts with the blog and the web explanations.
    Probably what is lacking is a sense that you have feel for the situations children (and their teachers) find themselves in over a given period of time. Perhaps the 'rushing in ..' refers not to your references to Brain gym but to your responses to people who offer you alternative ways of looking at it. Do you for example do anything with music and movement that is similar but with different base suppositions? but that works, that gives thrill and energy to your classes at times..........
    A quote from I can't quite remember who came to mind as I thought over your words - probably to you it will seem another inane non-sequitur , however I think it is relevant - perhaps you know it........
    'Science can lead us to the truth but only imagination can lead us to meaning'- or something very similar. Why do I quote this?
    Because there is a concerted attempt at the moment to make a science out of the measurement of education - the measurement of 'quality of teaching', the statistical measurement of 'adequate progress' by children, lesson observations that are assessed 'objectively', the idea that 'grouping and setting of young children is proven to obtain results' or that 'academies raise achievement'. and the idea is suggested that there is a direct link between attainment and our measures of 'good' teaching and learning. Why even 'satisfactory' can be revealed as truthfully being no such thing'.. Is this science o pseudo-science?
    So rambling on, all I would say is that there are many such behemoths in education for you to slay with your obviously powerful and logical intelligence rather than waste it on such small fry as Brain gym.
    An exercise program that perhaps was motivated by the observation that in order to put fun and even a little bit of fluid absurdity back into a fast-drying, solidifying, desk-based curriculum it was necessary to cloak it in a 'program' with all that entailed. I don't know but I just wonder. Yohana.
  9. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    so don't pay just do the exercises for free -
  10. I think there is something to be said for the virtues of being concise. There's no way that post required as much wordage as it was given.
    Surely everyone recognises that truth is a requirement for good teaching? Can you be a good teacher that only teaches falsehood? I would certainly say not.
    I have no idea what this second paragraph is about. What is this "sense" that you speak of? Certainly I use music and movement in my lessons, but what I don't do is shore them up on a foundation of lies.
    Science can lead us toward the truth, although not to it. Meaning can indeed be found only through imagination, as the only meaning in the universe is that with which humans imbue it. But you're right, I fail to see the relevance of this or the rest of your post.
    It seems to me that because you're unable to muster any sort of substantive response, you fill your posts with flowery prose, and draw in as many unrelated threads of thought as you can possibly manage.
  11. Where have I ever given the impression that I think that is a bad idea...?
  12. I have to say,Msz, that I was very surprised to find our LA advertising a 'commercial' course in Brain Gym during the Autumn Term (2011).
    Doesn't everybody know that 'Brain Gym' as a commercial programme is essentially a scam?
  13. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    sorry but I'm obviously completely missing your point ... Brain Gym is old news really so why would people be paying ridiculous sums of money for something that is freely available everywhere.
  14. Well, people obviously are, or they wouldn't still be able to run the seminars to make a profit.
    My point is only that anything you do in your classroom should be backed by evidence of its efficacy, and that anything you tell the children should likewise be based in truth.
    (And to preempt the point that I anticipate, yes, of course your own professional judgement and experience counts as evidence for the efficacy of an excercise. It doesn't, however, count as evidence for the truth of any old rubbish that someone has made up to market their activity scheme.)
  15. Ah well sunscorch I did try to share my way of looking.... you are very negative though... your adjectives are quite harsh......... innane, ridiculous, unable to muster, insubstantive (ok not used but reverse- inferred) flowery, unrelated ... maybe you are right, could sum me up I suppose, guess there are teachers like me out there-
    Who not so much 'don't care' about the truth but recognise its often economic and partial use and are very sceptical about who is purveying what brand of it and for what reason. Your focus on the 'lies' rather than balancing it with some fo the 'truths' as to why it has/is popular, seems to me to be one such example of a partial truth.
    I got the feeling a number of posters into this thread thought the substance to be quite an interesting debate as it refers not just to brain gym but to the need that Brain gym sought perhaps to meet, and why it did it in the way it did. Teachers working with five year olds, primary headteachers, KS2/21 teachers have all spoken with reference to real children in real classes during real days. Your discourse didn't seem to mention that.
    Of course when engaging with that 'substance' each person draws in the threads that begin to connect in their particular wider worlds. Maybe my own response bears little relevance to you bt I assure you my response is sincere. There's a whole ot of **** out there, Brain gym isn't the biggest.
    The 'sense ' I refer to was the sense that you were talking about children in some way not just about 'truth'. Maybe I've got you wrong but you don't seem to communicate a feel for what children got/get out of the brain gym or other programs.
    They might cost a lot of money and you rightly point out the slight absurdity of that- though if you see the money spent on various government campaigns there is a similar absurdity. However you don't seem to relate to the arguments about that others present you. Perhaps I should rest my case. Thanks for your comments though. i shall bear them in mind.
  16. What the children got/get out of Brain Gym or other programs doesn't matter. It doesn't matter, because they can get the same thing through other activites that don't require a significant outlay to implement, and don't require a systematic foundation of lies in order to sell them.
    It's not a case of comparing Brain Gym (and others) to nothing, but rather a question of comparing them to each other and finding the best way of providing children with what they need, whilst maintaining both professional integrity and an increasingly tight budget.
    Scientific analysis is what provides this basis for discriminating amongst the schemes, and if I can direct you back to the very first post I made in this topic, ignoring this evidence is the only thing I have objected to.
  17. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    I'll think you find most educational practices have no actual research done on them before they become widespread practice.[​IMG]
  18. And that's a reason to accept filling schools with more ****?
  19. roise

    roise New commenter

    There's a whole ot of **** out there, Brain gym isn't the biggest

    I would have to argue that the ridiculous nonsense peddled through expensive books and training was pretty crappy I'm afraid. Ben Goldacre points it out very well here http://www.badscience.net/2006/03/the-brain-drain/#more-225. I personally do try to look at evidence behind the philosophies that inform my teaching which is why I have no time for VAK or any other accelerated learning nonsense. It is difficult for teachers though because when you are sent out on training or attend inset or even receive training as a student teacher you don't always ask the people delivering it to justify their sources. I recently sat through training on meeting the needs of boys where wild claims were being made apparently all proven by recent research on the brain and I had no way of checking whether she was accurate or just making it all up.
  20. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    you keep saying this but there doesn't need to be any outlay ...

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