So you’ve implemented classroom movement breaks, but are they working? Our study on The Walking Classroom says they are. Learn more about the study and how to know if classroom movement breaks work for your students.
In our study on The Walking Classroom, which is a series of audio recordings of academic content students listen to while walking, learned a lot about how the students felt. Students indicated they felt happy, healthy, excited, educated, and smart, among others on days when they were allowed to engage in the walking learning activity. Read more about The Walking Classroom in my previous blog.
On days they weren’t given the opportunity to walk and learn, they used words like mad, sad, bored, and sleepy to describe how they felt.
As teachers and adults trying to engage students in learning and growing, it is important that we listen to them and use that information to guide our next steps. This isn’t to say that every single lesson you teach should include walking or physical activity, but it is pretty clear they desire it. And they need it.
I encourage you to ask your students how physical activity throughout the day or specifically while learning makes them feel. This could be incorporated into an assignment in which they interview one another to gather the data. They could create a survey and give it out to students in their grade level or another grade level and then analyze the data. They may even use it as a writing sample to persuade administrators to include active learning as part of the school day. Be creative with it. We can learn a lot if we open our ears and our minds.
Erwin, H., Weight, E., & Harry, M. (2021). “Happy, Healthy, and Smart”: Student responses to the Walking Classroom education program aimed to enhance physical activity. Journal of School Health, 91(3), 195-203.
Heather is a Professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Promotion at the University of Kentucky. She is a former physical education teacher, and co-author of Dynamic Physical Education for Secondary School Children, 8ed. Heather was also the recipient of the NASPE Curriculum and Instruction Young Scholar Award and a AAHPERD Research Consortium Fellow.