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COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL 8 Introduction Additionally, learning by doing creates more neural networks in the brain and throughout the body, making the entire body a tool for learning (Han- naford 2005). There is a growing body of research determining that physical activity activates the brain much more so than doing seatwork. While sitting increases fatigue and reduces concentration, moderate- to vigorous-inten- sity movement feeds oxygen, water, and glucose to the brain, optimizing its performance. Beyond providing an opportunity for children to “feed” their brain and to learn by doing, Early Elementary Children contributes to cognitive develop- ment in the following ways: • These movement experiences offer numerous opportunities for the children to deal with the concepts of space and shape. Thus, they will be better able to deal with abstract thought. Language, num- bers, and the alphabet are all abstractions, so this is very necessary preparation. • Directionality and spatial awareness are critical to reading and writing abilities. • By using a problem-solving method of instruction with the children, you will also be enhancing their problem-solving capabilities. They COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL