A business owner has devised a novel way for pupils to have fun with maths during lockdown, whilst also encouraging them to keep fit and active.
Rebecca Hart, Founder and CEO of dance education company Dance Equation is offering fun and educational school sessions online, where the youngsters bounce around to music, and learn about maths at the same time. One of their favourite activities includes a ‘stomping times table’ routine.
Rebecca founded Dance Equation in 2001 and has since worked with over 40,000 children in 430 schools up and down the country. Rebecca has moved her Dancing Digits class online during lockdown, and the classes are suitable for children of all age groups, from toddlers to teens, plus sessions for special needs school pupils.
Rebecca said: “Research has proved some children learn better when they are moving around and using their different senses. There is a good connection between the brain and the body when they are learning well, but they are also having fun which helps them to remember.”
The ‘limbering up in lockdown’ sessions also help overcome any maths ‘anxiety’ children may develop at an early age.
Rebecca said: “Many children start school at five with concerns about maths, thinking they can’t do it because they don’t understand the concepts.
“Our sessions help young children get over these stresses by ensuring that children have fun and make friends with numbers, so they can go on to enjoy maths rather than being scared of it.”
Children are encouraged to make number shapes with their bodies, shout out the maths in rhythm and rhyme, and the older ones even stomp out the times tables. Some of the classes are designed for youngsters and parents to get involved too – so there are no excuses not to get moving.
Rebecca said: “The active element to teaching is lost a bit during conventional lessons on Zoom or Teams. Some of them are a bit nervous to begin with but as soon as the music starts and they stand up, they get moving and we are away.”
The classes are not just for fun and social interaction though. The sessions cover lots of parts of the maths curriculum in schools including counting, sequencing, calculations, shapes and more.
Rebecca, who is married with a nine-year-old daughter, teaches classes regularly at schools across the UK. A particular favourite is Rosehill Special School in St Ann’s, Nottingham, where she gets a good reception for her ‘embodied learning’ sessions.
“This term, I am working with five key worker classes where the children are on the autistic spectrum and they really respond to being encouraged to move and dance,” Rebecca said. Rosehill teacher Laura Cook said the online sessions were “great for the staff wellbeing too.”
Rebecca was running her sessions for toddlers and their parents in West Bridgford Park in December just before the latest lockdown. This too has moved online. She said: “I can’t wait to start running the sessions face to face again, however, the move to online learning has made me think about the future of education more so than ever. Dance Equation could easily be rolled out as a programme across the UK as a blended learning programme for schools. I want to make it my mission to ensure that children are not missing out because of the pandemic, they remain active and they are not scared by the future of their education”.
Sessions cost £3 per child. Parents can book their child on for a free trail for the first class.
Schools, nurseries and parents can book sessions for Dancing Digits at https://www.dancingdigits.co.uk/