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Ep11: Math and Movement Connections: A New Way of Learning

In this episode of “Body Talk” Dr. Traci L. Scheepstra interviews Professor Susan McNab, an elementary math specialist who teaches in the Master of Teaching Program at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto (OISE/UT). Join them as they talk about the connections between math and movement. Professor McNab begins by sharing what math is (and is not), which gives deeper insight into how it connects to the body. She also talks about the benefits of students embodying math concepts so they know what it looks like and feels in order to successfully apply their mathematical understanding in more abstract ways with pencil and paper. Professor McNab stresses the importance of students having a positive experience with math where they can have fun and play through movement opportunities. She also highlights that what is experienced in the body supports a deeper understanding and recall of mathematical concepts throughout a person’s life. Dr. Scheepstra and Professor McNab also discuss the connections between social and emotional learning (SEL) and math that can be heightened when movement is part of the learning process. 

For more information on Susan McNab email: 



Recommended resources: 

Video: Dweck Carol. The power of believing that you can improve. TEDx Norrkopping. 

Article: Boaler, J. (2015). Fluency without fear. Youcubed. 

Article: Boaler, J. & Chen, L. (2016, April 13). Why kids should use their fingers in math. The Atlantic: 

Article: van Hiele P., & van Hiele D. (2012). The van Hiele model of geometric thinking. 

Website: YouCubed, Jo Boaler, Stanford University: 

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