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Neat Ideas in the News – Simple Video with Hand Motions Gets Kids Focused

Thanks to our friends at Healing Thresholds for the lead on this great story. Please support our contributors and visit Healing Thresholds, a free website dedicated to healing the lives of families touched by autism.
A simple video that incorporates hand motions has been successful in getting children to focus. When it comes time to get the second-graders back on track in Chanda McDonnell’s class, the kids stand up and get moving. It’s all done with the help of a DVD that, with music and motion, helps quiet the students at St. Bridget’s School in River Falls, Wis. Often, it’s the students themselves who ask their teacher for those few minutes with the program, called MeMoves.
The video itself is simple: On the screen, people of all ages and ethnicities, from young children to grandparents, are shown one at a time, slowly moving their arms in different patterns and keeping rhythm to a mesmerizing beat. There are three different sequences — joy, calm and focus — and it is the latter that McDonnell typically uses in her classroom.
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