Saturday, 27 November 2010 17:45

Tip #14: The Morning Movement Warm-up (Part 4 of 4)

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 This week’s tip concludes our current theme: establishing an effective morning routine that prepares students for a great day of learning.  Every morning my students and I participate in a four-part morning movement warm-up.  Executing these movements helps my students achieve what I consider to be an ideal mindset for learning: calm, relaxed, focused, and confident.  During this four week period I describe the four movements, one per week.  This week I describe the final part of our warm-up, hook-ups.

After students have had the opportunity to energize themselves during the first two parts of our routine, our goal for the third and fourth parts is to help them become calm and relaxed.  Hook-ups are an important part of that effort.

Introducing Hook-ups

Like the Cross Crawls mentioned in Part 1 of this Teaching Tip, hook-ups also come from Paul Dennison’s well-known Brain Gym program, specifically its PACE (Positive, Active, Clear, and Energetic) component.  Brain Gym consists of a series of movements designed to help individuals to relax, concentrate, and channel their energies in a positive direction.

Because Hook-ups are the final part of our movement warm-up and I know we’re about to head to our first academic activity (usually math), I like to add an extra dimension to this exercise.  While the kids are standing in hook-up position, I have them think about the upcoming day and focus on a specific aspect of it.  Sometimes I will go through the day’s schedule and ask everyone what they hope to accomplish while at school.  At other times, I’ll try to put the children in a good mood by asking them to think about the one or two parts of our schedule to which they are looking forward the most, even it’s something like playing handball at recess.  Or, I’ll have them set a behavioral goal that will make a big difference in their day, such as being a better listener or remembering to ask for help when they need it.

Performing Hook-ups

Place both arms straight out, thumbs facing down.  Cross one arm over the other and interlock your fingers.  Then, roll the locked hands straight down and in toward the body so they rest on the chest with elbows down.  Cross one leg over the other and rest your tongue on the roof of your mouth behind the teeth.  Continue breathing deeply with closed eyes.

Like the other parts of this morning movement routine, hook-ups can be done throughout the day as the need arises.


New Teaching Tips appear every Sunday of the school year.