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Supporting learners through neurodiverse physical engagement

Daniel Cunitz — The Crefeld School

A student enters your class bouncing off of the walls. Another enters and slumps down on the table, asleep before the second bell. A third is sitting stiffly, afraid to make a move for fear of social ridicule. If only there were a way to help each student regulate their energy level!

During this conversation, you will learn how The Crefeld School in Philadelphia instituted a vigorous activity period for all middle school students first thing in the morning and how it has changed the rhythm of our days.

Vigorous activity is not about athleticism or competition, but rather is about helping students to connect their minds to their bodies and to find accessible activities that they enjoy, benefit from, and sustain long after they leave your classroom.

Attendees will experience several activities that they will be able to take back to their school. There will be accessible physical activity. We will brainstorm ways to overcome obstacles imposed by schedules and other logistical considerations.

Conversational Practice

This conversation will begin with a brief introduction which includes a breathing exercise and then attendees will participate in three vigorous activities, along with group work. A presentation will be interwoven throughout the 90 minutes with time for reflection at the end.

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