I'm Alex Kane, a 4th grade public school teacher in Davis, California, American Ninja Warrior Finalist from 2014, former Director of Curriculum Development for Harvard’s Agency by Design research project, father, and founder of Monkey Bar Math™. With a lifelong thirst for cell-quenching activity, I became a renaissance man of motion: gymnastics, skateboarding, surfing, rock climbing, capoeira and parkour. You can see how these skills combine in the 6th Season of NBC’s American Ninja Warrior when I made it to the finals in Las Vegas! Standardized education fails to teach the whole student. Children start sitting in a chair for most of their waking hours at age five and this habit continues for their lifetime. In an effort to change this, I work with colleagues and students to redesign classrooms to promote physical and cognitive growth, often removing or physically modifying furniture and spaces. Movement then becomes the foundation of learning, not for the sake of simply keeping kids awake in class, but for the actual full-body experience of directly connecting the body’s musculoskeletal motions to academic content. After pursuing a degree in Environmental Studies, I focused my master’s thesis on taking classroom learning outdoors. I am now combining these two efforts by developing movement-based math curriculum that can be taught on playgrounds at every school or park in the world. I want every kid to benefit from having movement be the context for their learning. My creativity and compassion for the growing mind has transformed the educational paradigm for the hundreds of students and professionals I have had the good fortune to work with, and I now hope to bring meaningful, healthy learning to kids across the globe.
I make Math lessons that are - Movement-based - Usable on any playground - Student-led - Accessible for every child - Common Core aligned My teaching style is progressive, constructivist, child-centered, project based and movement oriented.
Check out the press Monkey Bar Math is getting with FOX NEWS, Katy Says podcast, and Girvetz School of Education here: http://www.monkeybarmath.com/#!press/n20ec Curriculum Development Director for Harvard's Agency By Design: NBC's American Ninja Warrior Finalist, Season 6; Recipient of Novozymes Education grant Speaking Engagements: 2013 Progressive Education Network Conference in Los Angeles 2013 Alameda County Office of Education Summer Institute at the Chabot Space and Science Center Taught an interactive workshop for progressive educators introducing original curriculum and concepts developed through my work with Harvard University’s Agency by Design research project. 2010 Bay Area Schools Environmental Conference Presented a talk "Integrating Environmental Education into the Classroom: an in-depth look into philosophically why and practically how teachers can blend environmental education into their general curriculum instruction."
University of California, Santa Barbara: M.Ed. Education, Sigma Cum Laude; B.A. Environmental Studies, Cum Laude
Check out my website: monkeybarmath.com I've collaborated with amazing professionals to build the BEST curriculum for the playground. Get out there! I also am heading up a new K-12 education center located in the Capay Valley of California and and can't wait to share the adventures in curriculum with you!