back to blogs

5 Ways to Get Children Moving in the Classroom

About about 1 year ago By Zuzana Vrtalova

Anna Earl Xbd Hm I Xvsv M Unsplash

​We all know that it’s hard to concentrate on one thing for a long time. According to this article from last year, the average Brit has an average attention span of just fourteen minutes. But we still expect children to sit, sometimes for an hour, listening to instructions and then doing a test or a long piece of writing. Breaking up long lessons with physical activity has many benefits. These include enabling children to take a break and refocus, get some more oxygen into their brains and sometimes solve problems, after a break, that seemed impossible before. Also, they perceive it as fun! So, here are five ways to get children moving in a positive way to support learning.

1. Break it up

It’s not always appropriate to make a lot of noise in a classroom, so on those days when the lesson consists of a long, quiet piece of independent work, break it up by allowing the children to get up at some point, have a stretch, and quietly go round and look at each other’s work. Ask them to find some improvements or examples of other children meeting the learning objectives and show you. Before they start work again, ask a few of them to share what they found with everyone. This can really help some children’s motivation.

2. Warm up

Many people believe that activities that force the left and right sides of the brain to work together are beneficial to learning. They also involve moving about! You can invent plenty of your own, depending on your available space and the age of your class, but these links might be a start.

Cross-lateral finger exercises for limited space.

Basic crossing over movements - silly, but fun for younger children

More challenging movements with hands and body

Use these as a warm up or as a break in the middle of a lesson to refresh the brains!

3. Tune in

Music is a great way to enhance learning, because it is a mood lifter and offers variety in the way something is learned. Lots of children will enjoy the six times table much more if they are allowed to make up a song and dance about it – or how about using musical instruments for sound effects in different parts of the room when children are reading out their stories? If you know the songs the children already sing in school and have access to them, standing up and practising one or two of these, perhaps with actions, usually goes down well. If not, there are plenty of resources out there. If the school has a subscription to Singup, use it. But here is a favourite of mine that needs no subscription. It’s short, and children can learn it quickly with all the actions. Also fun and very active is conducting. Whether you know how to do it properly or not (if you do, teach them!), it is a fun way of getting them to listen to a piece and move vigorously!

Try these:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7O91GDWGPU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLp_Hh6DKWc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Diu2N8TGKA

4. Act it up

Want the children to remember something? I once wanted my year fives to learn some key facts about the moon. Instead of sitting still watching videos, or listening to me talk, they were given a drama task. We wrote a simple script that was a dialogue between ‘Caroline, the Cool Captain’ and ‘Anthony, the Afraid Astronaut’. They took it in turns to be each character, swapping partners each time and keeping moving. They acted out the script several times, experimenting with the voices and facial expressions. Anthony would ask silly questions about the moon and Caroline would reassure him with the correct facts. They were excited to be ‘doing drama’, but shortly afterwards they all got a good score in their science mini assessment!

5. Agree or disagree

Discussion is often part of many lessons, but sometimes it can be hard to motivate all children to take part. Try making your discussion more physical. You can use this for everything from maths problems to R.E. Put up two signs – ‘agree’ and ‘disagree’ (you could expand to ‘slightly agree’, ‘strongly agree’ etc. if you like, but try to avoid a ‘don’t know’!). Ask the children to go and stand in the area representing their opinion. Ask individuals to explain why they are standing there and allow anyone to change places if they change their mind. Children can be asked to explain why they moved. They can also be challenged to try to convince someone else to move to their side.

Enjoy getting moving with your classes!

28 Apr 21, by Scott Owen

How to use catch-up and recovery funding effectively

​The impact of the pandemic on education is still being measured, understood, and assessed. What is clear is that it...

Read More
Sebastien Marchand D1h Fw0z Ea Ks Unsplash
23 Apr 21, by Scott Owen

Your May Payroll

​The Bank Holidays are quickly approaching. The Protocol Education Payroll team wants to make sure that you are paid on...

Read More
Summer Older
20 Apr 21, by Scott Owen

A Guide to Summer School Funding and Staffing

​Funding for Summer Schools 2021£200 million of funding has been made available to secondary and special schools (including non-maintained special...

Read More
Pe Website Blog Firstday 1155x575
15 Apr 21, by Scott Owen

Managing Behaviour: Top Tips for Teachers Returning to the Mainstream Classroom

​After distanced learning, returning to the classroom will be a daunting process for everyone involved - from new Year 7...

Read More
Pe Echo Banner 22
14 Apr 21, by Scott Owen

Supporting Children’s Mental Health Week

Last month, Protocol Education supported Children's Mental Health Week, an annual event launched by Place2Be in 2015 to shine a...

Read More
Pe Website Blog Teacher 1155x575
08 Apr 21, by Scott Owen

What support do NQTs need during their first year?

Protocol Education's NQT Pool is helping hundreds of newly qualified teachers find their first teaching job. We will find you...

Read More
Pe Website Blog Firstday 1155x575
29 Mar 21, by Scott Owen

How to write an NQT Personal Statement

​A well-written NQT personal statement is the bridge between you and an interview for the school of your choice. I...

Read More
Protocol Education Easter Pay Dates2021
22 Mar 21, by Scott

Easter Pay Dates 2021

​​Easter is quickly approaching. The Protocol Education Payroll team wants to make sure that you are paid on time, so...

Read More
2021 01 26 14h41 59
29 Jan 21, by Scott Owen

NAVSH Conference 2021

​Protocol Education will be exhibiting at the NAVSH Conference 2021 on the 2nd and 3rd of February.Protocol Education works closely...

Read More
Untitled Design (16)
21 Jan 21, by Scott

Our Educator Webinars

​Please find details of our upcoming and past webinars for educators below. Our educator webinars series cover a wide range...

Read More
Client Webinars
21 Jan 21, by Scott

Our Client Webinars

​Please find details of our upcoming and past webinars for schools below. Our school webinars series cover a wide range...

Read More
Blog Image
08 Jan 21, by James

Protocol Education Flexible Furlough Scheme

Protocol Education's Flexible Furlough SchemeIn the first Covid-19 lockdown, we were able to support our candidates by being one of...

Read More
Annie Spratt Q Ko Op G R9 I Unsplash (3) (1) (1) (1)
14 Dec 20, by Scott

Your Christmas Payroll

​Christmas and the end of term are quickly approaching. The Protocol Education Payroll team wants to make sure that you...

Read More
Tutor2
30 Nov 20, by Scott Owen

The Covid Workforce Fund

​On Friday 27th November the government announced a new funding stream available to schools to help to meet the challenges...

Read More
Video Interview
17 Nov 20, by Scott Owen

Video Interviewing Top Tips

Hiring for January 2021As we head into winter and towards January, maintaining the safety of your colleagues and pupils by...

Read More