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December 10, 2019

Get Moving: Top Tips for Active Classrooms

Research shows us that classroom physical activity can improve school culture, increase academic performance, and strengthen students’ relationships with their peers and teachers. But knowing how, when, and where to incorporate physical activity into the classroom environment can be challenging. In celebration of Active Classrooms Week (Dec. 9-13), I’ve rounded up my top tips for adding more movement into your classroom and school day.  

5 Steps to Create an Active Classroom 
  1. Create a safe environment – Establish ground rules to ensure everyone can safely participate. For example, limit large and fast movements (like running). Use signals to begin and end each activity, such as instructing the students to start movement when music starts and to stop moving when the music stops. The words “go” and “freeze” also work well. 
  2. Encourage movement – Remind your students to get up, move about, and stretch their bodies in the classroom throughout the school day. Schedule a daily physical activity break into your class schedule and use Healthier Generation’s Physical Activity Tracker to keep your commitment. 
  3. Enlist a physical education teacher – P.E. teachers are a wealth of knowledge! Reach out to your school’s or district’s physical education professionals to brainstorm creative, safe, and effective movement you can incorporate into your space and existing lesson plans.
  4. Get creative – There are so many ways to move! Try a new type of movement or swap in fresh activities each week to keep your students’ minds and bodies engaged. Explore Healthier Generation’s Physical Activity resources for inspiration.
  5. Celebrate your success – Success breeds success! Share your goals and progress with colleagues so that they can be inspired to create an active classroom, too. Ask staff members to share ways they have created opportunities physical activity in their classrooms, or create a Facebook group where staff can post videos and photos of classroom physical activity.  

The more we move, the better we feel! Classroom physical activity can be a fun and productive component of the learning process for both students and educators.  

How do you get students moving? Show us your active classroom on social media using the hashtag #HealthySchools! 

Lisa Perry

Senior National Advisor, Health & Physical Education, Physical Activity, Employee Wellness
Alliance for a Healthier Generation