Last week on the blog we talked about WHY working motion into the school day is so important for students. But HOW can aready busy educators work moving into their jam-packed days without having to rearrange their entire class schedule. The answe may be more straightforward than you think. Here’s 4 ways you can include movement in your classroom:
- Start your day with a warm up. No, you don’t need to put stretchy pants on to do this. This can be as simple as doing jumping jacks, or stretches just to get the body moving.
- Have dance breaks. Dedicating an entire song for a dance break can be a challenge. Keep it to 30-45 seconds of just letting your students get their sillies out and it’ll be a nice refresh for them.
- Play a game. Some students will feel silly embarrassed about dancing in front of their peers. In that situation, consider playing a game instead. It’s something to get their mind off school for just a moment.
4. Stretch it out. After a challenging or demanding task like a test or difficult lesson, make time for some physical stretching after the mental stretching. Giving their brains a break while also getting them moving can help them retain what they just learned and help them to switch gears for the next part of their day. For a different twist, students could also do “Compliment Squats” where they do a squat and say one thing they are proud of themselves for or like about themselves. Our team recently did this activity with our friends at Movement RX, and we have incorporated it into our workday and team meetings
Keeping your students active throughout the day has many benefits. It keeps them focused and engaged in what you’re teaching. The examples we provided here are not a one-size-fits-all solution, they’re just starting points. Find something that works for you and your students and have fun.
Looking for other ways to keep your students engaged this semester? Check back next week for some tips on how to liven up virtual lessons.