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Tips on Managing Movement in the Classroom

Submitted by Jan Adams, Winston-Salem/Forsyth Schools

  1. Set limits and expectations with consequences first (i.e. four controls - body, mind, voice, space).

  2. Know your objectives for the activity (i.e. to illustrate a concept, problem solve a creative solution, to help visualize, etc). Expending energy will always be a byproduct of whatever you do. Don't make it the primary objective.

  3. Don�t begin too big or complicated. Asking a few students to demonstrate something in the front of the room is a good way to begin to use movement.

  4. Do not let a student even stand up if he/she is not completely focused. It sets the standard for your expectations.

  5. Come down hard early in your requirements (i.e. sitting a child down who giggles while working, even if it is merely enjoyment. It tells the students that you are serious).

  6. Visualize step-by-step approach of how you will present material.

  7. Establish an "instruction stance," such as sitting, stopping or standing with students' hands behind their backs.

  8. Have students model.

  9. Establish expectations for choosing partners, which include method of getting to a partner and consideration for each other.

  10. "Choreograph" your transitions (i.e. "move like a robot to your seats").

  11. Use music to create the atmosphere that inspires quality work.

  12. Begin with "safe" movement that students don't feel foolish doing.

  13. Begin with very directed movement before heading toward more creative movement.

  14. Rove around the outside of the room. Don't get caught in the middle of the room.

  15. Have students close their eyes and visualize the exact movement they want before they do it.


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