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Arts and Education: Bringing math to life

MISSOULA – We head out to Chief Charlo School in Missoula for this Arts and Education report where a new learning style is helping math to come alive.

Karen Kaufmann a visual and performing arts professor at the University of Montana is in the process of creating a certification program for local dance teachers.

Once certified these teachers will then go into classrooms and teach dance integration.

“Today, one of our dance teachers will be working with kindergarteners who are learning about geometry.  And they will be doing that through creating geometric shapes with their bodies,” Kaufmann said.

Another example is kids may be learning about percentages and we can move with 100% of our bodies and 50% of our bodies.,” she added.

Chief Charlo administrators have made a commitment to using art intently, especially when it comes to learning math, a process that will be studied and evaluated throughout the year.

“We are expecting to see academic achievement along with increased self-confidence and the students becoming more comfortable being in front of one another,” Kaufmann said.

This sort of learning brings math to life for students, it energizes them and really get them to engage in what’s being taught. However, it is not just the students who are getting excited about this new learning style.

“Teachers are telling us the students are retaining the information.  That the lifelong learning is there because when you do it with our body it is embedded in our body and mind and that longevity and learning is really there,” Kaufmann said.

Meteorologist Lewis Dortch

Meteorologist Lewis Dortch

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