Wednesday, April 24, 2013

What Type of Movement Culture Does Your Technology Classroom Have?

You've Got To Move It, Move It

Inspired by Marcia Tate many years ago, movement has become an important part of my classroom environment. Not only do I provide opportunities for students to move regularly but I try to instill in the students the importance of moving so they can self regulate. 

I think this is will become more and more important the more sedentary activities might become with the increased use of technology in classrooms. 


Small Movement Breaks

In my class, students are encourage to recognize when their body needs a break. Throughout the year I do direct teaching of small movement breaks during writing, typing or art activities. However, by the end of the year the goal is students are aware of the need for them. Small breaks might include:
  • "spider" - students put their fingers together but leave their palms apart. Then they pump their palms in and out giving their fingers a stretch
  • wrist circles
  • neck stretches
  • shoulder rolls
  • body twists

Big Movement Breaks

If students are sitting for more than 15 - 10 minutes for an activity, I try to remember to incorporate a movement break into the activity. When using technology this might include:
  • encouraging students to get up and get a drink of water
  • stand up and stretch behind where you are working
  • a "shake, shake, shake" break where students stand up and shake their bodies
  • a whole class movement break*
* I put a list of whole class movement breaks at the bottom of this post.

Frustrated? Change the Mood

Often working with technology can lead to frustration (for you and/or the students). Stopping and doing a fun movement break can change the energy and mood of a classroom. Want to get students smiling? Try:
  • Handshake #2 Brain Break
  • Button Factory (to get kids laughing, I usually make the last "button" they have to push use their tongue, then they have to say the whole thing "hello my name is Joe..." with their tongue sticking out).

Some Whole Class Movement Break Ideas