Growing bodies of research suggest not only do children need time to process what they learn, and cannot be booked every hour a day, but they also need to move around to increase focus when they are learning material. (Jensen, Teaching with the Brain in Mind).
How can we enrich our classroom routines, which focus on increasing knowledge, to incorporate movement? The best ideas, as highlighted in Educational Leadership Magazine (April 2012) include creating lessons that involve movement. One idea mentioned in the article is to create voting games or quizzes where students have to move to the multiple-choice answer. Another option is to have the students compare ideas on pieces they have read, by walking and standing while they collaborate. Another idea involves creating questions that are assigned to each corner of the room where the students spend a few minutes collaborating and then coming together at the end to share what was discussed.
These simple ideas involve working with the lesson plan. But what if students just need a mental break from learning heavy material and a physical break from sitting?
Encouraging the students to get up and move in a way that engages both right and left-brain thinking (as in having the right hand reach down and touch the left foot) is a great way to use the mind.
Oranda is focused on creating these fun tools to help give students’ productive breaks to engage with the material they have just learned. Creating spaces for students to quiet their mind and warm their body is just one way to keep students and teachers happy and healthy in the classrooms.