We all want learning to be fun. Students hope for exciting and interesting lessons because they want to enjoy the process and be happy at school. Teachers seek enjoyable curriculum options because it means that students will be more dialed in and receptive to new information. But the quest for engaging lessons goes beyond what students and teachers want. The truth is that fun curriculums lead to higher rates of retention. When teachers are able to wrap lessons around play, mental development is bolstered. According to a study conducted by the Child Life Council, “Play was found to significantly promote cognitive and social aspects of development.”

For this week’s episode, I had a chance to speak with a true superstar in the field of education: Rae Pica. Rae is a huge proponent of “Active Learning,” a teaching pedagogy that utilizes movement and music to maximize student development and learning. Rae has cultivated an expertise in “the development and education of the whole child and children’s physical activity.” She is the proud founder and director of Rae Pica Keynotes & Consulting and  has authored 19 books in the world of education, including Experiences in Movement and Music, the award-winning Great Games for Young Children, and Jump into Math.

One of Rae’s main philosophies in life and education revolves around the notion that people learn best when they are having fun. The idea that movement and music should be used in education comes straight from her core initiative to infuse learning with enjoyment. Working with young children for many years, Rae has used a number of physical activities to help children make mathematical connections. When teaching students to distinguish between terms like “under,” “over,” “big,” and “small,” Rae uses active exercises that engage children visually, physically, and auditorily.

For parents and teachers alike who are seeking to modify curriculums and activities to improve engagement, tune into this once in a lifetime opportunity to hear from a true expert in education. During the interview, Rae delves into a number of strategies and games that can be implemented to make learning fun. To learn more about Rae Pica, go to http://www.raepica.com/