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Movement in the Classroom
Written by Josh Satterfield on May 1st 2019
This year, I was teaching place value to the thousandths place to fifth graders. To integrate movement into this learning objective, I printed whole numbers and a decimal point on computer paper and placed them in plastic sleeve covers. Once the learning was introduced, I passed out the papers and had several volunteers come to the front of the room. I then called out a decimal number to the thousandths place. Their job was to place themselves in the correct place while considering where to place the decimal. The other students wrote down that number on dry erase boards and assessed the students upfront. Students assessed and made adjustments from there. Once the students got the hang of it we moved further from the classroom to the playground. Now the students were in teams and had to create their numbers quickly and correctly. Not only did this included movement, but also collaboration. They loved it!

 
In many traditional classrooms, students are expected to stay seated for the entire day, and if they get up they will be interrogated. Instead of having students watch you move throughout the classroom, have them get up and move along with you.
For example, you may simply have students find ‘eye contact’ standing partners to reflect on new learning and/or teach them what they just learned. Another option is for students to make appointments with four students using this template. This template could be recreated for upper grades as university partners or appointment partners. If you’re teaching math perhaps your class could move to the Cupid Shuffle as you solve math problems on an invisible number line. Imagine how engaged your students would be while doing this!

Check out The Teacher's Playbook's Top 10 Discussion Protocols to get your students moving in your classroom today! 
Why?
Physical performance is probably the only known cognitive activity that uses 100 percent of the brain (Jensen, 2008).

Having students work quietly at their desks eliminates up to 40 percent of kinesthetic learners who have to be moving to learn (Hattie, 2009).

Repeat a movement often enough and that movement becomes a permanent memory (Sprenger, 2007).

Movement helps develops social skills which is connected to comprehension and critical thinking skills.

Want More?
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About Author: Josh Satterfield

Josh Satterfield is the founder of the Teacher's Playbook. In addition to being your Math Workshop coach, Josh is currently a 5th-grade teacher and high school boys’ basketball coach in Southeastern Michigan. Josh was born into an entrepreneurial family, and quickly gained a love for continual growth and success. His family always pushed me to dream big and work towards my goals, so that’s what I’ve tried to do throughout my life.
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