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The Montessori on a Budget Facebook group had a book club and the January 2016 book was Smart Moves, Why Learning is not all in Your Head by Carla Hannaford. The author explains how the brain develops beginning with birth and presents information about how the senses work together. Adults sleep with their dominant ear down for best sleep unless in an unfamiliar location where they may need to be alert. Babies sleep with their dominant ear out as hearing helps insure their survival. I had not been thinking about these facts lately, and with a new grandchild I found it all very interesting and true.
babies-sleep-with-dominant-ear-up according to the book Smart Moves Learning is Not All in Your Head

Touch is the major contributor to full understanding in vision. Children want to touch and feel everything, and the reason why is it helps them to fully understand.  Montessori allows for touch and helps children learn in a brain-based way. And more than simple touch, the physical movement with activities such as pouring really allow the child to learn naturally and well.

Quotes From Smart Moves

Here is a Google Slides presentation of important quotes in the book.  Below, there is an automatic slide presentation, also. I have the slides set to advance at 3 seconds each, but you can also manually click to see the next slide. Make your own copy of my presentation by copy/pasting this link (a Gmail account is required).

“Movement and play profoundly improve . . . learning”, according to Dr. Hannaford. They also help people be creative, manage stress, and stay healthy. So important for our children!

It was amazing to learn there is much research showing the brain is actually regulated by the heart. The scientific information is covered in the book, but most people think the brain regulates the heart and everything else.  I did! This has implications for teaching and learning as the teacher’s electronic heart impulses radiates out many feet into the classroom.  Children pick up on such things and respond with their own feelings.

Find Out More

This is the link to the second half of this book review.

~Carolyn Wilhelm