Have you ever smelled something that immediately transports you to specific memories of your childhood? A place that you used to live? The feeling of a summer afternoon?… That’s because our senses are fundamentally linked to our memory.
In our brain, memories are stored in different areas. When we learn something through music or movement, for instance, that specific piece of knowledge will be stored in multiple parts of our brain, and thus will be “easier” to access. Let’s say you learn a math concept while engaging in a rhythm exercise. That piece of knowledge will be connected to the musical part of your brain as well as the more analytical parts. If the exercise is fun, then hurray! The concept will also be "highlighted" so to speak, making it stronger and more readily accessible.
Moral of the story (and Integral Steps’ motto): the more parts of ourselves that are involved in learning, the more parts of our brain are engaged in storing our knowledge…and the easier it will be to recall it later.
So, to answer a question that we are often asked: an integrative education is one that involves the whole human person. The mind (intellect), the body (senses) and the heart (feelings), are the three pillars that an integrative education engages to create deeper and more real learning.
Experience an Integrative Learning Exercise Yourself!
Churning ice cream!
No better way to learn the states-of-matter together.
Sometimes, there is nothing better than a cold, refreshing treat to invite some fun and delight to our kitchens!
The ice will be melting at a much faster rate due to its contact with salt. Therefore, the cold inside the ice will escape more rapidly and freeze the milk.
While making your ice cream, talk about liquids/solids/gases and see which states of matter are represented in your recipe. Discuss how there is a reversible change happening: when you make ice cream, the liquid milk freezes into a solid. But, if you leave the ice cream out...it will revert back to its liquid state!
Your ability to affectionately and joyfully discover with your child is like warm rays of sun. Hum a tune together. Giggle. Go slowly. Sharing moments of delight together helps your child open up as well as feel safe, valued, and ready to learn ways to share positive emotions. Later on, when difficulties arise, they can use this established channel of safe, honest sharing and problem solving.
Can you handle all ingredients with your hands in one way or another? How heavy is the measuring spoon? Can you pour without spilling? Finding creative ways to feel helps include your body in all aspects of life!
1) Combine 1⁄2 cup milk with 1 Tablespoon sugar and 1⁄4 teaspoon vanilla extract in a sandwich-sized plastic bag.
2) Combine 4 cups ice cubes with 1⁄2 cup salt in a gallon-sized plastic bag.
3) Put the small bag with milk inside the gallon bag (make sure both are secure) and shake for 5 minutes or until milk is frozen. Cover your hands in mitts as it will be very cold.