Strategy 5

Identify opportunities and appropriate times to conduct classroom physical activity.

The best way to identify opportunities and appropriate times for classroom physical activity is for teachers to intentionally plan for it by adding physical activity into daily lessons and creating prompts. Ideally, classroom physical activities should be:

  • Supportive of positive classroom management and integrated throughout class time.
  • Simple and easy to organize, requiring little preparation.
  • Doable anywhere, anytime, and in any clothing worn by teachers and students.

Teachers also can determine appropriate times for classroom physical activity by assessing which approaches work best for them and how their students respond at different times during the school day. Classroom physical activity is often an effective way to help students relax and calm down before a test or after lunch.

Citations can be found in Strategies for Classroom Physical Activity in Schools.

Key Activities

Put Strategy 5 into practice through the following activities:

Identify when physical activity is currently being offered during class.

✓ Identify facilitators or barriers to offering physical activity.

✓ List the best times for offering physical activity during class.

Questions for Consideration

Use the following questions to guide key activities and inspire new ideas:

To what extent do teachers use classroom physical activity to re-energize a class that appears sleepy or disengaged?

To what extent do teachers use classroom physical activity as a way to improve student behavior and overall classroom climate?

To what extent do teachers use classroom physical activity after returning from school breaks (for example, recess, lunch, passing periods, and assemblies) to re-engage the class?

What schoolwide opportunities can be leveraged to promote classroom physical activity approaches (for example, morning announcements and schoolwide assemblies)?

Resource

Classroom Physical Activity Planning Template
This template (to be used for Strategies 4-8) helps teachers identify physical activities that will work in their classrooms. It also helps teachers plan how they will add physical activity to their classrooms as they develop their lesson plans and units. Time considerations for chosen activities are recorded in Column 3.

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Classroom Physical Activity Planning Template (Springboard to Active Schools)

This template (to be used for Strategies 4-8) helps teachers identify physical activities that will work in their classrooms. It also helps teachers plan how they will add physical activity to their classrooms as they develop their lesson plans and units. Time considerations for chosen activities are recorded in Column 3.

1-Minute Energizers: A Physical Activity Toolkit for Introducing the Human Body to Kindergarten through 6th Grade Students (California Department of Public Health, Toolkit)

These short physical activity breaks can enhance understanding of anatomical/physiological, and nutritional concepts.

Create a Classroom that Moves! (Ohio Department of Education, Guide)

Page 157 – “My Classroom Physical Activity Pyramid” Appendix – A visual to remind teachers of different ways to incorporate PA into the classroom.

Daily Physical Activity in Schools, Grades 1 to 3 (Ontario Ministry of Education, Guide)

Pages 16-17 – Explains how to plan and coordinate classroom physical activity.

FocusWELL: Physical Activity (Chicago Public Schools, Guide)

Page 32 – Tips and rationale for incorporating physical activity into the classroom.

Let’s Move West Virginia (West Virginia Department of Education)

Pages 6-9 – Provides three sample schedules of where physical activity can be integrated into the school day.