Movement and Learning

More and more research is showing the importance of movement and physical activity throughout the day to improve learning, memory and even behavior. With physical education classes on the decline, movement opportunities are getting pushed into the classroom. Also, during winter months, recess is often indoors. What are you doing to get your students moving?

Some options:
Go Noodle
Tabata- High Intensity Interval Training
Brain Breaks

Check out this Ted Talk


I agree completely!!! I know during the winter I need to get up and move more to focus a bit better. Thanks for the resources, will pass them on!

Can you please share more about FUNtervals?

Here is a link to a PDF file on FUNtervals.

Also a good website that can lead you to more info as well


Thank you, Beth! I am really excited to share this with my Elementary team. I will let you know how it goes over with the students!

Move IT - Google Chrome Extension

Just adding to the list here (some of you may already be familiar with this). It’s a tool for Google Chrome that reminds you to move based on specific time intervals you set. It also provides an activity to do like “Hop on your right foot for 10 seconds” or “Do 10 triceps dips at your chair”


too funny, just deleted that sucker cause it was making me crazy! I still hate things telling me what to do:smirk: I may qualify for EBD…


pssst. . … I did the same thing the first time I installed it a year or so ago. However, I fault myself for having it set to go off every 10 mins. :slight_smile:

Ha! I installed it after that Google Extension session on Teacher Leader Friday, used it for a couple of days, then uninstalled it. I really like the idea, but the full screen takeover was a bit too jarring.

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The OT in Brooklyn Center and I are doing a pilot of using 4 minute Tabata High Intensity Interval Training in volunteer classrooms at Earle Brown Elementary. We are not only going into classrooms to teach the movements, but also teaching students of WHY to do this, how your body feels, and how it helps learning. Teachers will be using it on a daily basis and tracking behaviors, attention/focus ability in their classroom over the next few months. We are excited to see if there will be positive results to pass on this method to others.
We are using a free online tabata timer and choosing exercises or movements based on the age and style of the classroom. Will be sure to post any results as we go along!
So far we have had excellent responses from teachers and students.

Examples of exercises: (we are rotating though at least 4 different ones to keep kids interested)
-frog high jumps (squat jumps)
-tree climbing like a monkey (fast standing mountain climbers)
-Inch worm, bear walk or crab walk to get weight bearing on all 4s
-Quick bunny hops
-Cheetah run in place
-Exaggerated alligator chomps with arms, cross body (for crossing midline and trunk control)
-Our list goes on…

And of course, this is to fun music kids recognize!
Can’t Stop this Feeling (Dance) by Justin Timberlake seems to be the big hit!


I’m really excited to see how this progresses, Beth. It’s great stuff. Thanks for the update!

I’ve shared this with our Elementary team too. I’ll let you know how it goes!

Hi! This is great. Excited to hear any updates on how it’s going. Happy to help with any questions or ideas!

HEY @bastruve!!

Thank you for this!! I used this today in my READ 180 meeting with the Literacy Specialists! We did some High Intensity Interval. . Planning! We did a brainstorming session to plan for next year.

  1. 6 mins on - Working on a topic
  2. 60 seconds off - MOVE stand up, step in place, stretch, etc. . . . but be ready for next interval
  3. repeat

Found some instrumental workout music and used an interval timer

Worked really well to get us through A LOT of information. Some were even doing lunges, squats, wall sits. . . and even PLANKS! :slight_smile:


It’s October and classes are getting into full swing! Just wondering what are people doing to integrate movement into the classroom so far?

Purposeful movement breaks, even if a couple of minutes long, can help reset a student or even a whole classroom. They can also prevent behaviors, boost mood, boost energy, and get the brain ready for learning.

Just a few examples:
-Tabata High Intensity Intervals (with music and choices for exercises: squats, push ups, planks, jumping jacks, lunges, squat jumps, bear walk, bunny hops,…the choices are endless)
-Active Stretching (reaching to up and over to sides, trunk twists, windmill reaching for opposite toes…)
-Go Noodle
-get all staff involved with the movements if able

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I’ve been using GoNoodle, but results are mixed. Some students get up and move, but others are more reluctant. I’d like to try some tabata - I’m thinking starting small, just one or two reps of activities and building from there. Let me know your thoughts! I’d really like to get my reluctant movers moving :slight_smile:

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I think starting small to test it is a great start. 1-2 minutes with 1-2 different exercises. Use a fun song- get ideas from your students so they can have some input for increased interest. They could also help chose the exercises. Let me know how it goes and if you have more questions. Good luck!

My class is LOVING teacher tabata. I’m starting to ponder making our own version. Thank you for sharing!


Awesome! I’m so excited it’s working for your class! Sherri, Monica and I could help if you’d like to try making your own version-if you’d like. Let us know how we can help!
Do you mind if we use your class as an example for the January staff meeting?

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I just checked this out. . LOVE THIS! I WILL be using this for an upcoming staff meeting!

:heart_eyes::heart_eyes::heart_eyes::heart_eyes::heart_eyes::heart_eyes::heart_eyes::heart_eyes::heart_eyes::heart_eyes::heart_eyes::heart_eyes: This would be a ton of fun and I bet there are a lot of staff (like myself) that would be willing to tdo this.

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