Movement in the Classroom
Helps Students Focus
Gone are the days when we thought that a student needed to sit still in order to pay attention. Researchers have found that the opposite is true for many people. The ability to move while concentrating increases the brain’s neurotransmitters to engage causing greater retention of the material being presented. Movement causes increased oxygen flow which boosts the brains activity. This enhances retention. Additionally, movement is soothing, which is why we rock or sway babies to help them go to sleep. When children are allowed to move while working at their desk it decreases their anxiety, the research has proven. This research supports what many educators and parents have long realized, kids need to move while concentrating on the subjects being presented.
One student’s movement can be distracting to other students when the activity doesn’t have an appropriate outlet. It can take the form of pacing, tapping on desks or shaking one’s foot. Teachers know the chaos those behaviors can create in the classroom. It detracts from the learning environment. Today’s classrooms have begun to incorporate furniture that helps the student to move without distracting others. Chairs that rock, chairs that swivel, chairs with casters are all designed to allow controlled movement in the classroom. This eliminates distraction so all the students can focus. This makes the movement productive for all.