by Jonathan Back, Director of Summer Programs
We are excited to incorporate a movement based curriculum, Kidsfit’s Action Based Learning (ABL), into our morning Summer Academic Programs and our afternoon Letter Learning Lab. ABL is a curriculum developed by Jean Blaydes Madigan and Cindy Hess, who readily acknowledge their debt to the research and contributions of many others. For example, according to Dr. Howard Gardner, the author of the Multiple Intelligence Theory, approximately 85% of students rely on kinesthetic experiences to enhance their learning and Dr. Germund Hesslow and his team at Lund University, internationally renown cerebellum researchers, concluded, “…a physically active student has an advantage in learning and an inactive student is at a disadvantage for learning.” This type of research coupled with The Janus School’s experience working with students with multiple learning differences led us to ABL. Their nationally recognized movement curriculum has proven results and is a natural fit for how we seek to engage our students in learning across multiple modalities as well as the neurodevelopmental constructs (All Kinds of Minds) we use to identify and advance a student’s strengths and opportunities for growth.
The ABL framework for learning is rooted in the development of the vestibular and cerebellum systems (inner ear and motor activity) which are known to be the first systems to mature in a child. These work closely with the reticular activation system which is critical to the development of a child’s attention system. ABL has developed a patented curriculum that has students rotate through 6 different stations that become more complex as student’s practice the skills associated with each of their designated activities. These activities include, but are not limited to crawling, jumping, balancing, visual tracking, and higher level thinking.
The Janus School Summer Programs that will specifically employ this ABL curriculum are our morning Academic Programs and our newly created afternoon program, Letter Learning Lab, which will fuse together initial level Orton-Gillingham teaching methodologies with artistic and ABL activities.