They say you never forget how to ride a bike. The thing is…it’s true! Once you do something, it goes into your procedural memory and pretty much stays there. Moving around or acting things out ends up being a great way to remember all kinds of things.
That’s why I’d highly encourage you to try and find ways to incorporate movement into the classroom. I know my college professors always told me this, but secretly in my head I was picturing 32 kids running around the room driving me bonkers. Naturally, I didn’t do much movement at all this past year.
However, if you plan out the movement and you keep it focused and short, there shouldn’t be any crazy scenarios like the one that ran through my head. Students can simply stand up, right next to their desks. The movement can only be in their arms. Make it what will work for your non-chaotic classroom.
Here is a nifty example:
Parts of the Friendly Letter with Movements
- Heading- pat your head
- Greeting- wave
- Body- shake your shoulders and body
- Closing- stomp your feet
- Signature- sign your name in the air
Once students start acting out the information, it really will become knowledge that stays in their heads. Try to think about little ways and also ask your colleagues! A teacher in my department has her students bounce up and down like bunnies when going over why it’s important to stay on topic in your writing- you don’t want to be hopping all over the place like a rabbit with your thoughts.
Remember, the first step to doing something is to visualize it. The same thing can be said for learning!
*Marcia Tate, “Movement for Learning, July 15,2010,https://teachingsparknotes.wordpress.com/2010/07/15/movement-for-learning/