Kids are constantly in motion. As teachers, finding new and creative ways to occupy students can be a challenge. With spring break right around the corner, here are a couple ideas to keep your students from squirming in their seats.
Send students on errands.
Ask your students to deliver a message to another class or take a note to the office. These tasks help kids build a sense of self worth while providing an opportunity to stretch their legs and move around. Another option is to have students complete tasks for you such as writing notes or organizing papers. They may be just kids but they are much more capable than you think.
Let students stand and walk around between lessons.
One teacher, for example, put a mini-trampoline in her classroom for kids who got restless. In the beginning of the school year, everyone used it frequently; but after the novelty wore off, only the ADHD students who needed to use it continued to do so. Another teacher let students use exercise balls instead of chairs so students could move around a bit, but still stay seated.
Provide fidget objects.
These object can include worry beads, fidget spinners, and squeeze balls — anything that can be quietly squished or handled. Not having to focus on staying absolutely still conserves the student’s energy for focusing on class lessons.
Keep lessons short and provide frequent breaks.
Follow the Pomodoro technique; 25 minutes on then 5 minutes off. This way your students feel like it isn't all work work work. It also gives them time management and awareness skills. You can even do this during tests if you sense that a student needs to move.
Give students an outlet to express themselves.
Whether a student is feeling blue or bouncing off the walls allow them to express how they are feeling through giving them options of something to do. Drawing, painting or writing are all creative outlets for their emotions. Or simply give them a task to keep their mind busy such as picking up pieces of trash or give 5 people a high-five.