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Why Your Students Need MOVEMENT in the Classroom & EASY Ways to Add It


Are you ready for the secret to better student engagement and classroom management? It might surprise you— it’s MOVEMENT! Did you know that the average American student spends 6-8 hours per day sitting? We can do better, and I can help! Learn why your students need to move, how to effectively incorporate movement in the classroom, and several easy (and FUN!) ways to add it throughout the day. 

Why Students Need Movement in the Classroom

Movement in the classroom is SO important! It helps both the body and the brain. 

Adding movement has amazing benefits for children, including:

  • Improved focus and memory
  • Elevated mood
  • Increased creativity
  • Language development
  • Improved physical health
  • Decreased anxiety
  • Better behavior

All of these benefits mean improved classroom management and academic achievement! By incorporating movement into your lessons, you are making your job easier and teaching students more effectively!

How to Use Movement in the Classroom Effectively

The “how’ is super simple— keep your kids moving throughout the day! This really is the secret to better student engagement and classroom management. 

Any chance to move in a meaningful way helps kids get out their wiggles and get ready to learn again! You will see the most impact when you intentionally keep them moving throughout the entire day.

This might feel daunting, but I promise it’s not! Adding purposeful movement is simple. It adds value to your instruction, and it doesn’t take away from what you are teaching. 

Easy Ways to Add Daily Movement Throughout the Day

There are so many ways to get kids moving!

Your first step is grabbing this HUGE Movement Games FREEBIE. In it, you will find samples of 14 movement games for literacy and math, movement posters to hang in your classroom, and more! 

More Movement Ideas

Next, consider adding some of these other phenomenal opportunities for movement in your classroom: 

  • Hand Gestures and Motions
  • Flexible Seating
  • Movement Minutes
  • Songs, Chants, & Dance
  • Gallery Walk
  • Write the Room
  • Movement Games


Hand Gestures and Motions

Be animated as you teach! Kids can mirror your motions during math and literacy lessons. 

These simple movements are so much more interactive and helpful for making learning connections than just sitting still and listening to you teach new concepts.

Flexible Seating 

Flexible seating is another great way to keep your students moving and engaged in learning!

Lower your tables, grab some floor pillows, add a small table and chairs, use Wobble Cushions, and more. Your options are really endless here!

*As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.


Movement Minutes 

Movement minutes, or more commonly referred to as “brain breaks”, are a few minutes of time (3-5 minutes is perfect!) for students to give their minds a break from learning and JUST MOVE!

Teach your students four primary rules about Movement Minutes:

  1. Pick a Smart Spot for movement. A Smart Spot is a place where you can do your best. 
  2. They should do their best to keep moving!
  3. Be safe with their body.
  4. Have fun, and enjoy the time in motion!

Songs, Chants, & Dance

Songs, chants, and dancing are another fantastic way to make learning more enjoyable for kids. 

Musical elements of songs, chants, and dancing make information easier to retain and recall because music engages different parts of the brain that non-musical activities don’t reach. Adding a musical element to your math and literacy lessons makes students more likely to enjoy the subject and develop a positive attitude when they hear that it’s time for new learning!

The tactile approach of movement is another advantage of chants and dancing. When your students move, it encourages their muscle memory and helps them to remember information more quickly. By incorporating physical movements into the lesson, students engage their brains and bodies, reinforcing the learning process. Win, win! 


Gallery Walk 

During a gallery walk, students walk around the room as they explore different texts or images that you place around the room. This is perfect for reviewing any math or literacy topics and can be done individually or in pairs.


Write the Room

This one’s so easy!! When it’s time to Write the Room hang picture cards OR word cards around your classroom. 

Children walk around with a clipboard and write all the words on the matching recording sheet. That’s it! 

This activity is low-prep for you but so engaging for your little ones who always think using a clipboard is the best thing ever!


Finally, take it up a notch by planning games full of movement! 

Here are some favorites you can find samples of in the Mega Freebie above:


More about Phonics FREEZE and Math FREEZE

FREEZE is going to quickly become one of your favorite classroom games! 

Playing is easy, quick, and SO MUCH FUN! Kids get out all those wiggles while still learning. It’s the best way to sneak in repeated practice or review without kids ever realizing they are working.


    1. Pass out one card to each child. 
    2. When you say “Go!”, kids begin to move around the room. *Play music so they can dance too. 
    3. While the kids are moving, they trade cards.
      • They must tell what is on their cards to trade. For example: read the word, tell the sum, etc. 
      • This is a great time to do an informal assessment! Join in and play as kids trade cards with you! 
      • Kids can trade as few or as many times as they like. They can’t argue if someone doesn’t want to trade- just ask someone else!
    4. When the music stops, everyone must FREEZE! You pull out a “Who Has” card and read it aloud.
  • The kid holding that card wins!
    • Optional: give out a little prize like a sticker, eraser, pencil, or candy to winners as you play


Then just say “Go” again, and the game starts all over!

Are you ready to get your kids moving? Download a free FREEZE game to get started!


You’re obviously the kind of teacher who wants the best for every student. Engagement and management are important to you. Don’t stress… you’re ready to easily add movement to your classroom without any extra planning or wasted instructional time! 

I’m so excited for you to join so many other teachers in this quest towards movement and more effective learning!

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Picture of Emily Yerty

Emily Yerty

I’m a teacher who believes in creating a classroom kids love and activities that keep them engaged all day!

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