Metter students put words to movement

By Dal Cannady - bio | email

METTER, GA (WTOC) - At first glance, the movement in Cindy Huff's kindergarten class at Metter Elementary seems to have nothing to do with literacy. Youngsters turned around, waved their arms and twisted into odd shapes. But they've learned new words by acting them out. Parents like Jeffrey Hilderbrandt said it has captivated kids the past two weeks.

"He comes home talking, everyday, about what they're doing and how fun it is and what he's learning. He'll say stuff and his mother and I would say 'we didn't learn that in kindergarten!' It's impressive," Hilderbrandt said after a class demonstration.

The school invited Nicole Livieratos to visit as an artist in residence and teach a method called SmArt StArt.

"The main ways to learn are visually, by auditory, and kinaesthetically," she explained. "I come in and teach whatever subject matter is asked of me and I teach it kinaesthetically.

In a lesson Thursday, she walked the students -literally - through the beginning, middle and end of a story. It's a concept the state expects kindergarten students to understand. They've also learned dozens of words by associating their own movements with them.

"They're 'stomping'. They're being 'generous'. They're being 'kind'. They're 'prowling'. They're doing all those words," Livieratos explained.

And what they're learning has drawn the attention of teachers in the older grades too.

"I've even had a third Grade teacher come by my room and say 'they're learning those words in kindergarten?' And I said 'yes and they know everyone of these,' said Huff.

Teachers said the learning lasts longer when the little guys are having fun.

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