Color by number math activities and distance learning? You bet!
Digital color by numbers? Nope, not for me:-) I like the paper and pencil!
A Little Distance Learning History
As we know, distance learning and digital learning are not synonymous. Distance learning has existed for a looonng time. Early on, it was called 'correspondence education' or 'correspondence learning.' Students received assignments in the mail, completed them, and mailed their work back to their educational institution.
A few examples of early distance learning include:
Check out this infographic for more detail about distance learning history.
Distance Learning Doesn't Have to Mean Digital Learning
Why consider this history? With schools moving to distance learning in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, I think it's important to remember that even though we have the technology to provide digital learning experiences, distance learning doesn't have to mean just digital learning. Paper and pencil activities have their place in distance learning; in some cases, such activities can provide greater benefits than digital activities.
Color by Number Activities Help Children (and Adults)
Why are color by number activities an important part of the current distance learning needs? Because of the many benefits coloring provides!
During this difficult time, the benefits of coloring are so helpful to our students and our own children (and to us). Here are just a few:
This post is from my old blog, and was written in April, 2015, but I thought it was worth transferring here and sharing:-)
According to the Huffington Post (10/13/14), coloring benefits adults (and I would assume children as well) because it "generates wellness, quietness and also stimulates brain areas related to motor skills, the senses and creativity." In addition, psychologist Gloria Martinez Ayala states that when we color, we activate different areas of our two cerebral hemispheres. "The action involves both logic, by which we color forms, and creativity, when mixing and matching colors. This incorporates the areas of the cerebral cortex involved in vision and fine motor skills [coordination necessary to make small, precise movements]. The relaxation that it provides lowers the activity of the amygdala, a basic part of our brain involved in controlling emotion that is affected by stress."
According to PenCentral, coloring benefits adults in helping them to maintain fine motor skills -this requires extra work by your brain to coordinate your actions and muscle control in your hands and arms. Coloring can help delay the loss of fine motor skills as people age. Coloring may also help fight cognitive loss, especially
if challenging pieces are completed every so often.
I didn't necessarily find research to answer my student's exact question, but what I found was quite interesting! If anyone knows of other articles or published research to support the role of coloring in improving math skills, please let me know!
If you'd like to receive a free color by number each month, check out the Color by Number Club!