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Steve Haberlin's picture
Steve Haberlin is an assistant professor of education at Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia, and author of Meditation in the College Classroom: A Pedagogical Tool to Help Students De-Stress, Focus,...
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Keep'em Moving!

Movement. I think it defines my classroom for most of the day. I have students take a stand when debating. They stand to answer questions or play games. They stand and perform movements when singing chants. When they get an answer correct~ they come up to the front of the room and jump a few times on the trampoline. Keeping youngsters moving just makes sense. Expecting children to sit still in a room all day is a recipe for disaster. Using movement purposely in your teaching does a few things. First~ movement can increase learning. Norway credits its high test scores with providing 15 minutes of physical exercise for every 45 minutes of instruction. Second~ directed movement reduces discipline problems. I

n fact~ an adminstrator who recently observed my class commented on how well-behaved the students were. I laughed and said they didnt have time to get in trouble. They were constantly moving.

Once you begin looking for places to incorporate movement into your teaching~ you will be surprised at the simple ways it can be accomplished. For instance~ when reading~ if a character in the book crawls across the floor~ have your class do it. Or if they cough~ have your students cough. The class will be fully engaged and will remain alert~ waiting for the next time they can act out a part in the book. Likewise~ instead of just clapping for a student~ have your class jump up and sing a song or recite a popular sports chant~ like charge.

So what are the unique ways you include movement in your class?