back to blogs

5 Ways to Get Children Moving in the Classroom

About over 1 year ago By UserDrop

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!

Untitled Design (16)
19 Jul 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
One to one tutoring in-class with National Tutoring Programme tuition sessions
19 Jul 21, by Scott Owen

​How to Become a National Tutoring Programme Tutor (and Why You Should)

The National Tutoring Programme (NTP) has proved to be a successful and popular response to the impact of lockdown on...

Read More
4 Effective Ways To Use Your Recovery Premium To Close The Attainment Gap
15 Jul 21, by Alex Schulte

4 Effective Ways To Use Your Recovery Premium To Close The Attainment Gap

​In February, the government allocated a £302 million Recovery Premium to English primary and secondary schools, building on the current...

Read More
As School Coronavirus Bubbles End, Here's Everything Your Staff Need To Know
13 Jul 21, by Alex Schulte

As School Coronavirus Bubbles End, Here's Everything Your Staff Need To Know

​By late June, rules around ‘bubbles’ in schools to prevent the spread of coronavirus meant that over 5% of English...

Read More
Summer wellbeing tips for teachers: 5 ways for healthy and happy holidays
02 Jul 21, by Ruth Bell

Summer Wellbeing Tips for Teachers: 6 Ways for Healthy and Happy Holidays

Just like everyone, teachers need to relax and recuperate. Whether we call it switching off, relaxing or resting, taking time...

Read More
One to one tuition and heavily subsidised small group tuition via the National Tutoring Programme (NTP) this summer from Protocol Education
28 Jun 21, by Scott Owen

The National Tutoring Programme & Protocol Education

​Since the launch of the National Tutoring Programme in November 2020, Protocol Education has successfully delivered heavily subsidised one-to-one and...

Read More
Recruitment Consultant Jobs in Bristol and West Midlands
25 Jun 21, by Scott Owen

Considering a Career in Recruitment? Opportunities in Bristol and the West Midlands

Have you ever considered a career in recruitment? ​If so, we are looking for people to join our fast-growing Bristol...

Read More
How Cpd Training Can Grow Your Teaching Career Options And Open Up New Opportunities
21 Jun 21, by Alex Schulte

How CPD Training Can Grow Your Teaching Career Options and Open Up New Opportunities

Anyone who remembers a Teacher Training Day giving you a day off school as a child is already familiar with...

Read More
I Stock 1061499342 Min
15 Jun 21, by Alex Schulte

Meet the Team Finding Jobs for Lincoln Teachers at Protocol Education’s Newest Branch

​As one of the UK’s leading educational recruitment agencies, Protocol Education operates dozens of branches in towns and cities across...

Read More
I Stock 544356240
08 Jun 21, by Alex Schulte

4 Ways To Overcome Burnout And Become A More Effective, Happy Teacher

Burnout and stress have become frighteningly common among teachers, blighting what ought to be one of the most rewarding career...

Read More
Pe Website Blog Arriving 1155x575
19 May 21,by

The Supply Teachers’ Essential Tool Kit

Whether you are new to supply or just getting back into the swing of things after the school closures, having...

Read More
Pe Website Blog Generic 1155x575 01d
17 May 21,by

5 Practical Ways to Promote Wellbeing and Good Mental Health in your Classroom

As we begin the return to school after covid-19, it’s a good time to think carefully about what can be...

Read More
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
27 Apr 21,by

​One-to-One and Small Group Tuition: Adopt the Strategies that Really Work

 One-to-one and small group tuition can be extremely effective areas of additional support for students. Dedicated time on learning core...

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