I am very excited to introduce Laurie Gombash, PT, MEd, as she shares about her unique movement-based literacy program, The ABC’s of Movement®!
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Thanks Mama OT for the opportunity to guest post and introduce a new educational product to your readers.
As a school based physical therapist, I have taken my passion for helping young children and created an educational product unlike anything else. In fact, it may accelerate a child’s ability to learn—it’s accomplished through what I titled, The ABC’s of Movement®.
The ABC’s of Movement® are flash cards for kids that get them moving and learning. This is a very fun way to learn the alphabet. Unfortunately, many kids do not get the movement they need in order to learn. Movement enhances every aspect of a young child’s growth and development. By combining movement experiences with learning the alphabet, young children learn through all five senses, using the mode that children learn best…by moving.
According to Rae Pica (Pica, 2007), children need to physically participate in the learning process, using as many senses as possible, to truly understand concepts. These unique flash cards are ideal for children of all abilities from 3-8 years of age. Literacy experiences prior to first grade are critical for children’s success in learning to read. Learning to recognize the alphabet letters is one of the hallmarks of preschool and kindergarten literacy instruction.
Current brain research shows that movement and exercise can spark the growth of new brain cells and facilitate learning. “Evidence from imaging sources, anatomical studies, and clinical data shows that moderate exercise enhances cognitive processing” (Jensen, 2005). I used my expertise in physical therapy to combine large motor components such as motor planning, bilateral coordination, crossing midline, strength and balance into 26 noncompetitive movement experiences. It just made sense to me to merge these large motor movement experiences with early literacy skills such as learning the alphabet.
These flash cards are full of information to make learning the alphabet a fun movement experience. One set of flash cards includes 26 alphabet cards, one instruction card, and one logo card. The front has a picture of a child performing the movement experience, upper and lower case letters, and the name of the movement. The back has directions to trace the letter in the air. This is called “sky writing” and is great for kinesthetic learners. There’s also a rhyming sentence and an alliteration sentence to reinforce each alphabet letter. Rhyme play directs children’s attention to the similarities and differences in the sounds of words. For example, the letter “G” is for Gallop: Gallop like a horse around the course with force. Alliteration sentences have the same first consonant sounds. For example, the letter “W” is for Walrus walk: Wonderful wild walruses walk and wiggle toward the water. Both rhymes and alliteration are used extensively in early childhood literacy awareness.
Each alphabet letter card also includes performance directions and modifications for younger children or children with special needs. Large motor milestones are also included with some of the alphabet letters. For example, the letter “J” is for Jump Forward: did you know that most three year old children can jump 24” forward and most four year old children can jump 30” forward? As you can see, these are no ordinary flash cards!
To watch a demonstration video, please visit my website: www.ABCmovementFlashcards.com.
I truly believe that a moving child is a learning child!
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“A moving child is a learning child”…I couldn’t agree more! That’s why we have decided to give away a FREE set of “ABC’s of Movement® “flash cards to ONE lucky reader!
This ABC’s of Movement® giveaway will run from Thursday morning, April 10, 2014 at 12am PST until Monday morning, April 14, 2014 at 12am PST.
Enter for your chance to win (and earn multiple entries!) by submitting your entry in the Rafflecopter entry form below. Please be sure to read the terms and conditions in order to make sure your entry is valid.
Thanks for reading and best of luck!
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The creator of The ABC’s of Movement®, Laurie Gombash, PT, MEd has been a physical therapist for the past twenty-nine years. Throughout her professional life, she has written and published numerous articles, performed research, and written two books on physical therapy related topics. In addition to her physical therapy degree, she has a Master of Education degree. For the past twenty years, she has been a pediatric physical therapist serving children with special needs. After her own children left for college, she finally had time to turn her product idea into reality. In 2012, she launched Laurie’s Empty Nest, LLC and created and self-published The ABC’s of Movement®—to help her students, and children everywhere, learn the alphabet and motor skills simultaneously. She recently became an Independent Step Up To Quality trainer in Ohio and enjoys sharing her love of movement with early childhood professionals, therapists, and parents. In her spare time, Laurie enjoys running, surfing Pinterest, and creating alcohol ink dyed coasters.