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A Moving Child Is a Learning Child: How the Body Teaches the Brain to Think (Birth to Age 7)

Gill Connell and Cheryl McCarthy

  • Paperback
ISBN: 9781575424354
A Moving Child Is a Learning Child: How the Body Teaches the Brain to Think (Birth to Age 7)
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  • Paperback
ISBN: 9781575424354

Publisher Description

Just as kids' bodies need specific nutrients for good health, they also need a balanced diet of physical activity to help them reach their potential. This book explains the learning link between the body and the brain and what early childhood educators and caregivers can do to guide it.

Author Biography

Gill Connell is a globally recognized presenter and child development authority, specializing in the foundations of learning through movement and play. She provides developmental expertise to parents, preschools, schools, and companies such as Hasbro, Inc., based on her more than 30 years in preschool and primary education. She is the former national director of Gymbaroo Preschool Activity Centers and the founder of Moving Smart, Ltd. (, which offers resources, tools, trainings, and workshops. She coauthored the book "Moving to Learn: An Essential Guide for All Parents, Carers and Educators." Gill lives in Christchurch, New Zealand, and travels regularly to the United States. Cheryl McCarthy is a former vice president of intellectual property development for Hasbro, Inc. She is a 30-year veteran of the world of children's play, specializing in young children's storytelling and entertainment. As executive producer, she managed the creative development of properties such as My Little Pony, Candy Land, Mr. Potato Head, and many other beloved children's icons. She is currently the creative director at Moving Smart, Ltd. Cheryl lives in Attleboro, Massachusetts.

Table of Contents

List of Figures List of Reproducible Forms Foreword by Marcia Gentry Introduction Chapter 1: Giftedness Defined in Diverse Groups Definition of Gifts and Talents Identifying Giftedness Across Cultural, Linguistic, and Socioeconomic Communities Twice-Exceptional Learners: Gifted Students with Learning or Behavior Challenges Chapter Summary Chapter 2: Using Brain Research to Improve Differentiation Brain Research and Giftedness Putting the Research to Practice Chapter Summary Chapter 3: The Common Core State Standards and Gifted Education How Common Core State Standards Affect Gifted Students Responding to the Common Core Considerations in Reframing Curriculum for Gifted Students Chapter Summary Chapter 4: Defensible Programs and Services General Characteristics of Gifted Elementary Students General Characteristics of Gifted Secondary Students Gifted Programming Models Effective Grouping Practices within Gifted Program Options Chapter Summary Chapter 5: Creating Authentic Honors Courses Articulation: Clearly Defining the Rigors of an Honors Course Differentiating an Honors Course Alignment: Effective Practices in Student Selection Accountability: Continuous Review for Continuous Improvement Chapter Summary Chapter 6: Changing Roles for Educators of Gifted Students Defining the Role of the Teacher Teacher as Mindset Shifter Teacher as Knowledge Guide Chapter Summary Chapter 7: Co-Teaching: A Collaborative Approach to Differentiation The Roles of Classroom Teacher and Gifted Specialist Co-Teaching Strategies for Addressing Learning Differences Co-Planning Lessons for Gifted Learners Chapter Summary Chapter 8: Understanding and Reversing Underachievement Defining Underachievement Factors That Influence Academic Achievement Potential Risks for Underachievement Reversing Underachievement Chapter Summary Chapter 9: Assessment and the Gifted Learner Types of Assessment Integrating Assessment into Instruction Using Assessment with Gifted Students Assessment That Builds Autonomy Chapter Summary Chapter 10: Leadership Gifted Education Specialist: Administrator or Teacher Leader? Embedding Differentiation for Gifted Learners into Classroom Practice Instructional Coaching Lesson Study Chapter Summary Chapter 11: Next Steps References and Resources Index About the Authors


"Gill Connell and Cheryl McCarthy, two highly respected leaders in their fields, have produced a timely book that makes a significant contribution to our understanding of why movement is so vital in young children's development and learning. This exceptionally informative book will appeal to and be highly useful for parents/caregivers and anyone who works with or has infants, toddlers, and young children."--Cheryl Greenfield, M.Ed. (Hons), Manukau Institute of Technology in Auckland, New Zealand

Long Description

Just as kids' bodies need specific nutrients for good health, they also need a balanced diet of physical activity to help them reach their potential. Writing in an engaging, down-to-earth style, authors Gill Connell and Cheryl McCarthy connect the dots that link brain activity, motor and sensory development, movement, and early learning. They unveil the Kinetic Scale: a visual map of the active learning needs of infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and primary graders (from "snugglers" to "skedaddlers") that fits each child's individual timetable.Teachers and caregivers will find a wealth of information, actionable tips, and games they can use to support children's healthy development--all presented in a lively, full-color format with demonstrative diagrams and photos. A final section offers easy-to-implement "Smart Steps at Play" activities geared to the Kinetic Scale.Grounded in best practices and current research, "A Moving Child Is a Learning Child" is both a hands-on resource for any classroom teacher, care provider, or parent and an ideal tool for coaches, mentors, and professional development trainers. Digital content includes PowerPoint presentation, bonus activities, parent handouts, and reproducible forms.

Review Quote

"This valuable research demonstrates that the way children learn best is through interaction and movement . . . [ A Moving Child Is a Learning Child ] helps adults understand why children don't sit still, run, jump, skip and fidget . . . and why it is so critically important to their brain development and learning!"--Deborah McNelis, acclaimed author of The Brain Development Series and founder of Brain Insights

Promotional "Headline"

Discover the early learning link between the body and the brain and how to guide this connection in young children

Product Details

Gill Connell, Cheryl McCarthy
Short Title
Free Spirit Publishing
Edition Description
Book with Digit
Country of Publication
United States
Publication Date
Free Spirit Professional(tm)
How the Body Teaches the Brain to Think (Birth to Age 7)
Primary & Secondary/Elementary & High School