Adding Movement to Learning Can Help
For a high school instructor, every time of day seems to have a reason why kids are more fatigued, lazy or disengaged: whether it’s the morning, right before their break, after lunch, or the school day is almost done. And we agree that studying and learning may be tough, draining, and not necessarily enjoyable.
Integrating more movement and conversation into the classroom, on the other hand, can reawaken your kids’ passions, interests, and feelings of community. While getting kids out of their chairs may seem frightening or disruptive to some, there are numerous ways that are simple to follow, and you will see a significant change in your students’ energy levels.
Why Adding Movement to Learning is Important?
Having to sit and study for hours (or days) for a specific period is not the most productive approach to learn, nor is it good for our bodies or minds, despite common opinion. While it is critical to plan ahead of time and study properly and sufficiently, it is also critical to take pauses, maintain a healthy balance, take good care of yourself, and move around.
Walking and moving around when studying, as well as taking moving breaks in between class lectures, has multiple benefits for our bodies, minds, memories, and academic performance, as per research. Executive functioning, or the skills you need to break down tasks like composing an essay or solving multi-step arithmetic problems, increases when you stand while learning and completing projects.
Exercising has been demonstrated to improve verbal memory, thinking, and learning, in addition to many emotional and physical health advantages. Exercise promotes alertness, focus, and motivation while also assisting in the development of new brain cells that aid in the storage of information. Movement improves your ability to remember, recall, and comprehend new vocabulary, which aids in the learning of a new language.
Ways to Get Your Students Moving During Study Time
Incorporate Movement in Curriculum
It makes it logical to include gross and fine motor activities in a variety of topic areas, especially when teaching core concepts. For example, in math classrooms, you can draw chalk grids on the playground and have students walk sloped lines, stopping to discuss and walk the line’s “rise” and “run,” or you can teach a larger range of mathematical notions like tangents and cosines using hand and arm motions.
Ball-Toss Spelling Technique
Spin a rubber-band ball to one of your pupils, who should shout out the first letter in the word, then hurl the ball to another kid, who should call out the second letter. Continue until you’ve practiced all of your spelling terms.
Four Corner Discussions
Replace the anticipatory guides with a four-corner discussion in the classroom. Prepare a few disputed statements that are related to what you are learning before reading material or at the start of a new lesson. Then split the room into four sections: Strongly Agree, Agree, Disagree, and Disagree.
To make this assignment easier, please be sure to name these room corners. After making a statement, ask students to stand motionless for a few moments to consider their perspective, then direct them to the corner of the room to discuss their viewpoint with like-minded friends.
Pause their discussions after two to four minutes of group discussion time and hold a brief whole-class debate with speakers from all perspectives. Then proceed to the following statement. This encourages students to roam around while developing their speaking and listening abilities as well as their academic language.
Researchers found that when 8-year-olds were questioned to act out the definition of words they were learning in another language with their hands and bodies—for example, spreading their hands and pretending to fly while learning the German word for an airplane—they were 73 % more probable to remember them two months later.
Drawing the Concept
When a learner draws an idea, they must expound on its meaning and linguistic aspects in the actual drawing hand movements. This results in a rich combination of cognitive and physiological processes that integrates learning more profoundly and is a dependable, repeatable method of performance enhancement.
Maths in the Playground
For math class, go to the playground. Run 20 steps with your pupils, counting each step aloud. Alternatively, have them hop 30 times. If you have older pupils, have them skip-count by twos, threes, or even sixes and sevens while running or jumping.
Encourage Pattern Dancing
Make a dance that reflects a math pattern with your kids. They could, for example, do a hop, a skip, a spin, and a skip to demonstrate an ABCB sequence. Allow them to showcase their dances for the rest of the class.
This is a great activity to get pupils active and socialize with classmates with whom they might not usually interact. It also eliminates the awkward anxious feeling that a student can have when looking for a partner for a project.
These activities are basic and straightforward methods to enliven and engage your class. Moving and talking to pupils not only improves social and public speaking skills, but also adds some enjoyment to the learning environment, which empowers and excites students.