Sprinkling movement throughout the school day will help students maintain focus. There is a lot of good research about the increase of behaviors and ADD as more and more movement is cut out of the school day. Here are 3 ideas for adding it back into your schedule without compromising academic times.
1. Look at your schedule
The first thing I do is look at my schedule. I am looking to see what the students are doing each half hour or time block. Are they sitting, switching tables, getting up and moving, etc. I see less behaviors and better focus in my classroom when my students are only in “sitting” groups for an hour total. For example, my direct teaching work centers (30 minutes each) are back to back which means my students have been sitting and working for 60 minutes with only a 3 minute of reinforcement time in the middle. If I follow this hour up with another activity that requires the class to sit and focus, I am guaranteeing myself that I will be dealing with off task behaviors. No thanks!
Instead, I make the next activity something that incorporate movement AND learning. For example, we might work on reading, labeling and spelling with a write the room activity. We do at least 1 write the room activity with every theme throughout the school year.
Another example is when we practice math and gross motor skills. In this picture, students had to get the materials for one side of the room and then put it all together on the other side of the room.
You could do this with almost anything: puzzles, matching, coloring, etc.
2. Add movement into lessons
3. Structured movement times
Want to learn more ideas and tips for getting students moving? Read: Put research Into Practice By Building In Movement.