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COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL Introduction  7 enormous—word comprehension is immediate and long lasting. The words are used and learned in context, as opposed to being a mere collection of letters. This is what promotes emergent literacy and a love of language. Similarly, if children take on high, low, wide, and narrow body shapes, they’ll have a much greater understanding of these quantitative concepts—and opposites—than do children who are merely presented with the words and their definitions. When they act out the lyrics to “Ten in the Bed” (“There were five in the bed, and the little one said, ‘Roll over’ . . .”), they can see that five minus one leaves four. The same understanding—and fascination—results when children have personal experience with such scientific concepts as gravity, flotation, evaporation, magnetics, balance and stability, and action and reaction. Additionally, learning by doing creates more neural networks in the brain and throughout the body, making the entire body a tool for learning (Hannaford 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-intensity 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, Preschoolers & Kindergartners 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, COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL