More info on SMART activities can be found on line....
Here is one source:
Stimulating Maturity through Accelerated Readiness Training
Spinning on spot can boost early academic achievement
Encouraging young children to spin on the spot can significantly boost
their early academic learning. Other brain-stimulating activities for
children include hanging upside down, scrabbling along the floor on
their stomachs and crawling along a trail of marked out prints.
The package of activities called SMART (stimulating maturity through
accelerated readiness training) has been developed in the United
Five and six-year-olds who have taken part have shown significant
improvements, compared to other classmates, in early language and
numeracy skills, according to Lyelle Palmer of Winona State
In one group of 70 SMART kindergarten children, only one was referred
for remedial services when usually a quarter would be.
Based on research into how the brain develops, the programme's
activities are designed to stimulate brain cell growth, and have been
used in 20 schools in Minnesota and 80 others across the US
Professional Development Workshops promote - "The SMART (Stimulating
Maturity through Accelerated Readiness Training) program is the
world's most highly-researched and effective innovation in early
From what I read it is a fancy label for drama activities, too....
Which all of you pre-school/early childhood art teachers should be
doing (for a comprehensive arts program). (scroll down to read about
the SMART Circus http://www.buenavistaeoes.mnps.org/Page3787.aspx)
"The SMART Program seeks to increase early academic development in a
fun and age-appropriate context for all children, using a curriculum
that emphasizes the repetition of a number of physical and mental
exercises designed to develop learning readiness. At the same time,
attention is given to increasing community integration of
disadvantaged and minority children."
Sites are not giving away the secrets of SMART since schools pay for
these training workshops. Once school received over $13,000 grant to
implement the program.
Carl, post some of the specific activities and I am sure folks can
help brainstorm some for art. Listen to Greg Percy's Songs in the Key
of Art (and others) - You will come up with movements to reinforce the
songs. Look at your pre-school/K lesson plans and think how you can
reinforce the key concepts with movement. Literally "take a point for
a walk" to make different kinds of lines.... Have the kids walk
zig-zag and curvy lines.
On 10/18/06, Miriam Tobola wrote:
> I've never heard of the SMART program. Can you tell me more?
> :)Miriam in North Dakota