Spinning is one of the most effective memory improvement exercises
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Memory improvement exercises can play an important role in learning, and spinning children in the direction of their dominant hand can dramatically improve memory and recall. It is, in fact, one of the most effective memory exercises available. And it costs absolutely nothing!
Exercises to improve memory do exist, and unbelievable as it may seem, spinning until dizzy in the direction of the dominant hand (the one used for writing) has been shown to improve memory.
Research indicates that three minutes of spinning could quadruple memory tracks among children!
Controlled, supervised spinning after practicing words does seem to help students remember words better.
Spinning at School
Small group interventions
As a Title I reading specialist, I worked with at-risk kids as part of the RTI process. After practicing words on our word walls to increase sight vocabulary, I would have my children spin in the direction of their dominant hands. Students went to an open area with an area rug and would spin in place until they were dizzy.
Upon seeing them become wobbly, I had them sit on the carpet until they were no longer dizzy. These were second graders, and they told me themselves that it helped them remember the words.
Some neuro cognitive teachers use Sit ‘n’ Spins for spinning younger children.
Whole class activity
Spinning as a classroom activity was perfected by a kindergarten teacher I know who created a game she calls “Spinner Winner.” After practicing words on their word wall, she has them move to a carpeted area in the room and spin. As they become wobbly she has them to sit down on the carpet and cheer the others on while they continue to spin (in the direction of their dominant hand), and the last one standing is the “Spinner Winner.”
The first year she did this, she told me her students learned more words than they had ever learned before – which sent me scrambling to find first grade books for them to read!
Spinning at Home
Parents who struggle with helping children study for spelling tests at home have found spinning to be very helpful. Two in particular have reported to me that after they began spinning, their children made 100’s for the first time ever on their spelling tests!
Here’s what to do: After quizzing your child on his spelling words (it’s best to start early in the week and do a few each day) have him move to an open area in the room. If the weather is warm, a grassy area is the perfect place for spinning.
If the child writes with his right hand, he will turn to the right and spin in a clockwise direction. If he writes with his left hand, he will turn to the left and spin in a counter-clockwise direction.
This activity must be supervised, and you must have children sit down right on the spot as soon as they begin to get wobbly.
© 2011 by Teacher Support Force: Teaching Children Reading and Math