education is key, sometimes ignorance is bliss

Here is my summary of learning. I do not think it needs any sort of special introduction. I have never done slam poetry before and it was definitely  outside of my comfort zone; however, I am pleased with the end result. I would love to hear any feedback!

Thank you for the opportunity to learn from all of you this semester,



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Social media in times of tragedy.

What defines a tragedy? After loosing one of my good friends last Tuesday morning in a tragic car accident, I am so annoyed by people’s petty problems.

I do not have 100 best friends, I would rather have four quarters than 100 pennies. I lost a quarter. To me this is a horrific tragedy. To Amilee, this is a horrific tragedy. Nothing seems to matter, nothing seems important. Katie is dead, yet she is all around me. For the past two years I have talked to her about so many decisions in my life. The colour of my bedroom- Katie; the colour of my kitchen- Katie; my diaper bag- Katie; the salt in my cupboard- I traded her a loaf of homemade bread for it; Freya’s name- it was Katie’s favourite choice (and Mikes); to become a teacher- Katie fully supported me and believed that I would be amazing at it. This tragedy is not going to end soon. I feel like it is just beginning. I see something funny on Instagram, I want to tag Katie in it. We had the same weird sense of humor.

I realize that everyone feels like they are going through tragedy for many different reasons and all people grieve differently.  Social media has definitely changed the way people can share their emotions and condolences. It has been awesome to see how many people have posted pictures of Katie throughout her life and shared stories of her.

Having quarters and not pennies comes naturally to me; especially because I am so focused around my family. My friends are my family. That being said; Amilee is devastated that Katie is gone. Here is a link I found that discusses how to talk to children about tragedy. She is not coping really well; she has had nightmares and overall is not sleeping well and is not as energetic and happy as she usually is. My mother in law suggested using the Jewish tradition of putting a stone by the graveside for Amilee; we will go and pick out a special rock for Katie and Amilee will hold it and put all of her feelings into the rock, and maybe colour on it during her celebration of life.

Through all of this, I need to remember that when I am a teacher my students problems may seem petty, but we really cannot judge what is a tragedy to one person. It is also a good reminder that we all do not really know what is going on in someones home life. I feel like they should have the space to grieve. It is important to understand the signs of a grieving child and to protect them from any disrespectful actions of others through social media.

I am so lucky that Katie was a part of mine, and my girls lives. She was a beautiful soul and is missed so dearly. The lessons she taught me I am still learning, remembering.

Tacos are amazing. There is no such thing as too much butter or too much whipping cream. Margarine is not butter. Wine is always a good idea. You can decorate your house by forging a forest or the dump. Always have at least one fresh herb on hand. Work hard. Laugh. The little things do matter.  and many many more xo

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My life + Twitter = pretty awesome

Hey everyone!

It is Friday, and I just spent the last hour googling and pinteresting how to get my baby to sleep through the night?! Ah, any help!? This momma has not slept a solid night since… JUNE 2016. I know I am not alone in this, but I am getting a sore tummy from my coffee addiction! And baby led weaning?! I did not know it was a thing, but I feel like my baby Freya would enjoy it more than me trying to feed her. Which she does not participate in AT ALL! Tomorrow is another day.

What I should really do is make a shout out on Twitter!

But I digress… sort of

If I can find help on Twitter with a parenting problem, I am pretty sure that it will be uber helpful when I am a teacher! Having a vast personal learning network (PLN) is extremely important when dealing with young people. I feel like I am not old, 30 in a month- woot woot, and I do not know a lot of what young people talk about or like. Scary really. Having other educators knowledge at the convenience of your phone is a valuable tool.

Before ECMP 355 I did not use my Twitter account to it’s full potential. I really had no idea what I was doing. I still am lost a lot of the time, but I feel like I have come a long way. It really started this semester because I FORCED myself to tweet every week; and, like anything, the more you practice the better you become.

Here is my first retweet, ever! Not very professional and definitely NOT educational. Well, kind of educational, but not relevant to my teaching degree.

And her is my latest retweet; it is a definite improvement and it shows how far my tweeting has come!!!

I still have so much to learn about Twitter; but the only downside I can see right now that could be a challenge to teaching and learning would be all of the fake news that is being circulated now. Twitter could be an ideal vehicle for sharing fake news.

OK! Fantastic news! Alenna from ECMP 355 has TWEETED me about my parenting issues! This is awesome! This is definitely going to be a beneficial tool! AND maybe I will get some sleep! Fingers crossed everyone!


Well, my girls and I are off on Monday to Mesa, Az to visit my Grandma! We are all very excited for a break from the cold weather! So if anyone has any fun ideas of things to do with your kids in the Phoenix area let me know! I will see you all Wednesday from the city of “great people, quality service”! lol

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#hiphoped and a maladjusted education system

Good Day!

Our week has be so unbelievably crazy busy! Amilee’s skating carnival was this Sunday and it was a lot of fun! I am on the skating board so there was a lot of organizing, planning, running around, etc etc!!! My mother in law was also part of an event in Yorkton “Casino Royal” . They needed some volunteers; so, after a long day of decorating the rink I drove to Yorkton and served some VIP tables. The snow storm was so horrible that my sister in law and her fiance just left to go back to Saskatoon this morning! It was a very nice visit, but now I must get down to the grind and blog, blog, blog!

I googled “edtech” and a recent keynote address by Chris Emdin popped up! I read the article; and you can too, here. The article was a brief summary of his speech and there was a video of the full keynote was at the bottom. It is a bit of a long video, but if you have time I strongly suggest you watch it. He is very engaging and the time will go by fast 🙂

One thing in particular that focused around “edtech” are the corporations who go into urban areas and “throw technology” at the school and then assume that it will be better. Emdin argues that this is the wrong approach and says this is when corporations “hide under the umbrella of tech without focusing on the pedagogy”.  I find that, as a mother, I always seem to relate everything I learn in Education back to my daughters; I feel like “throwing technology” at children is something that happens all of the time. It happens at home and at school; before I took Alec Couros ECMP 355 class I was very anti-technology for my kids; however, I have now realized there are a lot of benefits for letting your children learn from technology. For example, there is a lot of opportunity for inquiry based learning. I feel like there is a real threat in education for educators to “throw technology” at children without actually teaching.

Christopher Emdin talks a lot about how contemporary education needs to engage in conversations with young people and consistently goes back to his theme “thank you for your service, we’ve got it from here” which he found from the hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest. “Thank you for your service, we’ve got it from here” is a way of asking the school boards, the CEO’s of companies trying to make profit through education, and even teachers to step back and let the marginalized people take charge of their education.

Emdin notes that in 2017, information is readily available to to the marginalized and they will know best how to teach their own, sometimes. He talks a lot about the trauma that children experience while in school because their culture is being extracted in order to teach them; this can happen even when people have good intentions. He says there is a real problem in school (and arguably the entire country) with PTSD- Post Trump Stress Disorder; and that there needs to be space for children to talk about and express how they are feeling. Though we do not have the same issues the US does, I feel like his ideas fit in with the problems we have with colonialism and residential schools in Saskatchewan.

Edmin also goes describes the contemporary education as being “maladjusted”. Which I feel is totally correct. He talks about the inability of schools to see kids who have non academic knowledge and we, as educators need to create spaces for kids to teach us how they need to learn. Here, he comes back to his theme “thank you for your service, we’ve got it from here”; he says that when a school system is maladjusted this is when the culture the children come from is extracted and thus trauma is caused. Towards the end of his speech he talks about how outdated education is; how we as a society feel like the most clean and organized schools where children wear uniforms is somehow the best way to educate; when some of the best companies in the fastest growing economies like Google have their employees in street clothes, listening to music that inspire them; ie, showing their culture. This really spoke to me about being both a teacher and a parent; I need to listen to my daughter more about what she needs me to teach her; not necessarily what I feel she needs to be taught. I need to do more reading and be open to all types of education for her so that she will be ready for her future; whatever that may be.

Edminis a big supporter of #hiphoped. There is a twitter chat for #hiphoped every Tuesday from 9-10 eastern. I am hoping to participate/ observe next Tuesday! This idea around #hiphoped sounds really awesome, I am looking forward to learning more about it!


Thank you so much for reading today!




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Morning yoga!

Hey Everyone! I hope you all had a great winter break and are ready and refeshed to get back to life!

We have had an extremely busy couple of weeks in our house, Freya got her first TWO teeth and Amilee has been very busy practicing for her skating carnival that is this weekend!

My books from Indigo finally arrived and I have been so excited to read all of them!


I would like to start by  going over what “perseverance” means as suggested by the Encinitas Union School District.

“Perseverance is the quality of never giving up, even when things get hard. When something is challenging, you can persevere and accomplish difficult tasks”

I would like to begin this session with a book that has nothing and EVERYTHING to do with Yoga, by reading the book “Walk on! A book for babies of all ages” by Marla Frazee. Here is a summary of the book as told by

Trying something new is never easy. Like walking, for instance. But aren’t you sick of sitting on your bottom day in and day out? Hasn’t lying around all the time become a little bit boring? This handy guide, both practical and inspirational, is here to help. With useful tips, common pitfalls, and Marla Frazee’s adorable illustrations, this book is perfect for anyone–from a baby to a graduate to a grown-up–who’s about to take a scary first step

I feel like this is an important starting point because the yoga that we will be doing can be difficult at first and I want to have a reference to something all the children (unless there are special circumstances) have learnt to do- walk.

I would also like to go around the class and talk about things that they are good at, or have learned to do. I feel like in Grade 1 most children will either be in an extracurricular activity OR know that they are good at something (colouring, playing with younger sibling/cousin, helping their caregiver fold laundry, etc).

After discussing Perseverance for a few minutes, or days, or whatever the time allows I would like to introduce another book “The Good Morning Yoga Flow” by Mariam Gates. This is one of the books I purchased off of Indigo, here is a link to the book.

Here are a few things that I love about this book:

  1. the vivid pictures will keep the children entertained the first few rounds of reading the book and the calming repetition of the story will sooth and relax the children as they learn the yoga postures.
  2. There is a 2 page spread that shows the different poses used within the book.
  3. The “Visualization- How I want to feel today” part of the book is amazing. I would love to do this with children everyday. I feel like this would be a great thing for all people to do everyday!eye-sock

I found a craft to go along with this session, eye pillows for the relaxation/meditation portion of the
yoga found at The materials are easy and cheap and I feel like it will help the kids learn to quiet themselves better if they have something covering their eyes. The materials needed are: knee high socks, flax-seed and rice, and lavender oil.


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So I am taking this crash course on HOW to teach kids yoga….

It is Thursday, and I am still waiting for my Indigo order to arrive, still no luck! However I had quite a few other packages waiting for me at the Post Office….

Freya underneath my online shopping items, but nothing from Indigo yet!

Freya underneath my online shopping items, but nothing from Indigo yet!

Tuesday, I realized that my books were not going to help me with this week’s post and I have 5 “lesson plans” to make, but many more blog posts. So I started scowering the internet to find something that would help me with my lesson plans. I found quite a few resources that I hope to use within the next couple of months but one that was AMAZING and I am so excited to share it with all of you!

First, a little back story– we do not have TV, we have a TV but not cable or whatever, we have have a ROKU box which we all love. We are all able to watch what we want (except full games, sorry Mike) without all of the hassle of commercials and timeslots! Win Win (except during CFL, NFL, soccer, etc)! When Amilee was about 2 I found this wonderful YouTube Channel, Cosmic Kids Yoga. In ECMP 355 I know I talked about how awesome I thought this program was, but I want to get more into it here. On cold winter days Amilee would PARTICIPATE in the different yoga programs. I found that she, even at 2, was very engaged and could do a lot of the poses. She adores Jaime, the instructor, and still at 5 years old loves the programs.

While looking all over the internet I found that, Jaime, from Cosmic Kids Yoga, offered a FREE crash course in teaching kids yoga. I read over the intro and it is the perfect fit into my learning project! Here is what I am expected to learn over three, thirty minutes videos

• Coaches you in the ‘how-to’ of kids yoga: how to perform a story so the kids follow you, so they get the benefits of the yoga
• Teaches you about development and anatomy of kids aged 2-12
• Equips you with a class structure that works every time
• Full video instruction of 114 kids yoga postures – including anatomical focus and teaching tips
• Includes membership to our thriving private Facebook community
• Includes personal video feedback from Jaime for your teaching development – this is required to graduate with full Cosmic Kids certification
• Includes our downloadable posture A-Z, The Big Yoga Posture Book, which you can print or keep as a pdf on your tablet or smartphone, showing teaching tips and anatomical guidance for every posture
• Includes full downloadable manual of all study notes, to help you learn offline
• Coaches you in the script of a proven kids yoga adventure (Squish the Fish!)

So far I have finished one of the videos, “Breathing life into the Postures” and this is a summary of what I have learned:

  1. Keep the Poses BASIC- this gives children immediate confidence that they can do the postures, it keeps everything safe for both the students and the teacher
  2. Keel the instructions SIMPLE- kids vocabulary is not as large as ours, make sure that they can easily understand what you mean and that they do not get lost in directions; No lefts or rights, start the instruction from the bottom to the top (ending with the head)
  3. Make the yoga poses come alive! – Give postures names, jobs, places to live and friends, build an entire universe around each pose, if there is not a yoga pose that works- invent one!
  4. Make sure the postures are easy to learn

Jaime also went thshark-poserough 10 different yoga poses and gave the benefits and how I could make the pose come alive; for example the “shark pose” is great for strengthening the back, opening the shoulders, and is great for stretching out the back after sitting at a desk all day. To bring the posture alive, make the kids wiggle their fin and sing the “duu duu duu” song from the movie Jaws.

Jaime ended the video with some FAQ about teaching kids yoga; here is a quick summary- you need to have professional liabilities insurance and a background check to teach kids yoga; there are no laws requiring you have a licence as in adult yoga. The kids yoga instructor SHOULD also participate in a yoga class, and this crash course is aimed towards all ages of kids!

I am going to take Jaime’s advice and I will be doing my second yoga class since I was pregnant tonight! I also enrolled Amilee in kids yoga next Wednesday in Carlyle from 4-5. I am hoping the instructor will let me observe!

I will report back on the last two videos of my crash course!

Thank you for reading!


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Kindergarten- An introduction to Yoga and meditation using the emotions from the movie “Inside Out”

My learning project this semester is learn yoga and to incorporate it into the classroom. I have decided to do a different grade for each post, starting with Kindergarten and ending with Grade 5. The books I ordered from Indigo have not arrived so I started looking through Pinterest for some inspiration….

My daughter, Amilee, is in Kindergarten this year and I noticed before Christmas that she started using the word “jealous” a lot. This is not a word that is used in our house a lot, so I knew she was learning about her emotions at school. Amilee was having a hard time with me at the beginning of the school year and I was not sure if it had to do with the new baby, new schedule, or what! After awhile Amilee was able to tell me that she was jealous of a new friend her best friend made. We were able to talk about it and she was able to express all of the emotions that she was building up for a few months! Her angry outbursts at me stopped and life got a lot more calm.

I found a link to an Inside Out Mindfulness Lesson Plan by Kate Beddow and I thought this would be a great beginning point to my learning project. The Saskatchewan Curriculum for Kindergarten was able to keep my focus on what the outcomes that the kids need to be learning during this time.

For those of you who have not seen the Disney Pixar movie “Inside Out”, it is about an emotional roller coaster journey that a young girl, Riley, goes on during her family’s move to another part of the country.


I feel like the movie would be a great basis to complete a lot of the Kindergarten outcomes for both the Health and Phsyical Education portions.


I would like to introduce the story line, even though many kids will have seen the movie, by reading the book “Sadly Ever After” by Elsie Allen to the class. Here is the book read aloud…

I would also like the children do a craft, I found one from MommaPlusOne, it is a memory sphere like the ones that are portrayed in the movie. The children need to think about what gives them the emotions in the movie (joy, sadness, anger, etc) and fill the sphere with memories that are connected to those emotions. It would require more help than just one teacher because it would require talking to each student and writing down their memories. However, I feel like this would be time well spent because it would help the children understand and articulate their emotions.

Cropped using Lightshot

Cropped using Lightshot

Lesson Content

As per Kate Beddow’s lesson plan, we would then go through the following exercises with the class:

Child Pose/Sadness Begin this pose by kneeling up on the floor, slowly lower your head onto the floor in front of your knees as you slide your hands back towards your feet, and just stay there and breathe deeply.

Amilee doing the Child Pose/Sadness

Amilee doing the Child Pose/Sadness

House of Cards This pose can be tricky so can be done in pairs. Ask the children to sit opposite their partners a little distance apart. They can then lift their legs and place the soles of their feet against the soles of their partner’s feet and hold hands.

Amilee and Freya are doing the "House of Cards" Pose

Amilee and Freya are doing the “House of Cards” Pose


Joy Imagine you are holding a memory ball between your hands, gently, play with the ball, roll it between your hands, pass it out to the side, balance it on one hand, whatever you like, but slowly and carefully because memory balls are very precious.

Amilee is playing with her memory ball!

Amilee is playing with her memory ball!


Dragon Breathing/”Train of Thought” This is a very simple breathing exercise where you breathe in to the count of 7 and then as you slowly breathe out you make a “Hhhhhaaaa” sound as if you were trying to fog up a mirror. For the purposes of this story we are going to make a “hoohooooo” sound like a train whistle.

Amilee Balloon Breathing

Amilee Dragon Breathing, She is making a “hooo hoooo” sound as she breathes out.

Balloon Breathing Hold your hands together in front of your mouth with your palms together, take a big deep breath and as you blow out imagine you are blowing up a balloon between your hands, take three breaths to blow up your balloon, making your hands wider with every breath. When you have blown up your balloon release it to the sky.

Amilee balloon breathing, she is starting to blow up her balloon

Amilee balloon breathing, she is starting to blow up her balloon

Amilee has blow up her balloon

Amilee’s balloon is full!

Amilee has let go of her balloon!

Amilee has let go of her balloon!

Belly Breathing Lying on the floor ask the children to place their hands on their stomach and feel their tummy rise as they breathe in and fall as they breathe out.

Amilee doing belly breathing

Amilee doing belly breathing

Kate Beddow then suggests that the children move into a script and follow with the yoga poses; while I feel like this is a really neat aspect to this lesson I would like the kids to practice these poses first for a couple of days. After they feel comfortable with the poses I would like to move into the script which can be found here. Practicing the script with the yoga poses every day the kids have Kindergarten would be a great intro into yoga. We could add more emotions and more poses as the children master their skills.


As suggested by Kate Beddow, after reading the script she would like the teacher to ask the children about how they feel after the reading the story while doing the yoga poses.

-Do the children feel more relaxed? or Sleepy?

We could start a dialogue about when using yoga and meditation would be beneficial to them… when they are worried? Right before bed? If they are upset or mad?


These are the outcomes that I feel that are met through this lesson plan.

Outcome: USCK 1 – Develop basic habits to establish healthy relationships with self, others, and the environment. 

a.Develop language with which to wonder and talk about healthy behaviours.

b.Express what is known about healthy behaviours (e.g., sleeping, laughing, crying, observing nature, attending ceremonies, drinking water).

c.Ask questions and seek answers about healthy behaviours.

d.Illustrate what “healthy” looks like, sounds like, and feels like in a variety of contexts.

f.Explore healthy behaviours and healthy relationships through creative expression (e.g., dramatization, role play) and storytelling.

h.Describe feelings of calmness/peacefulness and experiment with the language to convey these feelings.

j.Share what is known about healthy relationships (e.g., be kind to each other, laugh together, accept differences, feel like one belongs and contributes).

k.Observe and discuss interactions among others (i.e., real life, media, literature) to identify positive/helpful and negative/hurtful behaviours.

l.Recognize the value of taking time to “stop and think” before choosing/acting.

Outcome: USCK.3  – Explore that who I am includes more than my physical self.

a.Develop the awareness of, and the language to talk about, all aspects of self.

b.Ask and explore ‘big’ questions about “Who am I?”

c. Recognize personal physical and non-physical gifts/strengths/qualities (e.g., listening skills, knowing an additional language)

d. Discuss self as an individual who has experiences that may or may not be similar to others.

e. Recognize that thoughts and feelings are not always obvious to others.

f.Explore the concept of “inner self” as a part of “who I am” that one can choose to share with others.

g.Examine basic connections between personal thoughts and actions.

h.Investigate sense of self as separate from, yet connected to, others.

Outcome: PEK. 1- Participate in a variety of moderate to vigorous movement activities for short periods of time to increase heart and respiration rate, flexibility, muscular endurance, and muscular strength.

a.Participate in moderate to vigorous locomotor movements (e.g., walking, running) and a variety of movement activities (e.g., individual activities, partner activities, rhythmic activities, low-organizational and co-operative games, and alternate environment activities), progressing towards sustaining movement for four consecutive minutes.

b.Describe what the body feels like when it has participated in moderate activity and in vigorous activity.

c.Recognize that physical movement is good for personal well-being.

d.Communicate an understanding of the fact that all people have physical responses to participation in movement activities and that these responses are good and support well-being if they do not cause pain (e.g., faster heart beat, increased perspiration, faster breathing, increased body warmth).

e.Participate in a variety of movements that challenge muscular endurance (e.g., animal walks, climbing on/under apparatus and playground equipment, pulling partner riding on a towel or scooter, rhythmical activities, balances).

f.Participate in teacher-led movements that stretch or strengthen muscles (e.g., teacher-led yoga poses, teacher-led stretches).

g.Create body shapes, as prompted by the teacher, to support the development of muscular strength, muscular endurance, and flexibility (e.g., stand as tall as a giant and reach to the sky, stand on one foot for as long as you can).

h.Create and share body shapes and movements that challenge the body to be ‘strong’, to ‘keep going’, and to be ‘stretchy’.

Outcome: PEK.3- Explore and practise ways to move the body in personal space at a progressing-towards-control level of skill when:

  • balancing
  • jumping and landing (on the spot).
  1. Practise balancing in different body shapes, both self-created and given (e.g., balance creating a wide body shape; balance being as narrow as you can; balance in a twisted body shape).
  2. Practise trying to maintain balance on two feet, close together, shoulder width apart, and wide apart, when signalled to do so after moving on the spot (e.g., wiggling, twisting).
  3. Use a variety of non-locomotor skills when playing simple co-operative movement activities and games.

Outcome: PEK.5- Vary, with guidance, the movement of the body through changes in:

  • space (personal space, general space, levels, directions, and pathways)
  • effort (time and speed)
  • relationships (body parts and shapes).
  1. Move the body through space following given directions (e.g., “stay in personal space and stretch your body as big as you can; now make your body as small as you can”, “move through general space on hands and feet staying low to the floor – move forward, backward, sideways”).
  2. Recognize and respond to movement vocabulary (e.g., personal space, general space, balance, high, zig-zag).
  3. Create and perform movements, in sequence of at least two phrases, to represent images (e.g., riding a horse quickly, slowly; climbing a fence then balancing on a plank over some water; walking like a robot then stretching the body high to the sky while moving forward).
  4. Move from one point to another, through moving classmates, trying not to contact anyone else.
  5. Respond physically and correctly to instructions that vary the direction, levels, pathways, and effort of the body movement (e.g., walk backward slowly and lightly, move on hands and feet keeping body as low to the ground as possible).
  • Move in personal space and general space on various body parts (e.g., “move body parts as fast as you can while remaining seated in your personal space”; “move across the floor while remaining seated”; and “move across the floor on your hands and feet”).
  1. Move over, under, around, behind, in front of, on, and off a variety of objects.
  2. Practise freezing any movement when signalled to do so.

Outcome: PEK.7- Use respectful behaviours and safe practices while participating in cooperative games and physical movement activities.

  1. Practise being both the leader and follower in a variety of physical movement activities.
  2. Practise sharing an object (e.g., ball) and space with one other person.
  3. Describe what it means to be aware of other people and the environment when moving through space to support safety of self and others.
  4. Discuss and practise ways to solve problems when moving among other people (e.g., say excuse me, take turns when appropriate).
  5. Repeat and practise safety rules related to movement in physical activity setting (e.g., make sure that balls are not left rolling around where someone else can step on them, do not throw balls at other people, keep head up and look around when moving).
  6. Recognize that it is okay to continue participating when tired or to take a break when feeling pain.
  7. Engage in play with a variety of classmates, including those who are friends or not friends.
  8. Persist in trying even when it gets hard to do so (as long as it does not hurt).

Explore and share ways to move the body through space (e.g., crawl slowly, hop quickly, run sneakily like a weasel, pounce like a cat, leap like a ballerina, gallop like a horse).

  1. Explore moving in response to locomotor vocabulary (e.g., hop, leap, slide, jump, skip, sneak, tiptoe, dash).
  2. Respond physically to verbal prompts of travelling skill named by others (e.g., hop, leap, jump).
  3. Imitate the locomotor movements of others (e.g., copy actions made by others, follow-the-leader).



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