Students spend multiple hours in our classrooms every day. Movement should be a natural part of the day for students and teachers. Research shows that student learning improves because of the link between mind and body.
Do your students spend the majority of their time in your classroom sitting in their seats?
Try these ideas for incorporating more movement with your students:
Take a brain break. Teachers and students alike have fallen in love with GoNoodle in our school district. The website provides musical videos and physical activities to get students up and out of their seats. Dancing and singing along, students will be able to better focus and improve their academic performance after taking a brain break. The interactive website uses group incentives to motivate students to take part in daily activity.
Go take a walk. Students stuck for ideas in your classroom? Encourage them to go take a walk. Steve Jobs, among others, was famous for his long walks, using the sojourns to problem solve, think, and sometimes hold meetings. Giving students a chance to get up out of their seat, and take a quick walk through the halls can help students get the creative juices flowing. Sometimes, a change of location can help students to see a problem in a different way, or think about an assignment in a different way.
Switch up your grouping. One of the easiest ways to incorporate more movement is to give students multiple collaborative grouping opportunities throughout the day. Use the Random Name Picker to create groups of 2, 3, or more. Have students work with a partner, then switch to another partner. Use speed dating. Give students multiple chances to get out of their seats to work with a variety of partners during class.
Encourage students to be comfortable. Where do students sit in your class? Set up a multitude of seating options within your classroom, allowing students to be comfortable. Stability balls are a great active option for students. Raise your desks slightly to allow students to work standing up. Find an exercise bike at a yard sale or ask the PTA to donate one. Create different seating options and settings within your room to encourage movement and activity with students.
Consider yoga. Many teachers are incorporating mindfulness into their lessons. Consider using elements of yoga to help students center themselves before daily lessons. Breathing exercises and yoga poses can help students to relax, and even help students to become more stress-free prior to a test. Use relaxation techniques to help yourself as the teacher and model for students. Create a more peaceful, calm setting to help students improve performance.
What kind of activities or strategies for movement do you use in your classroom? Share your best ideas or resources in the comments section below.