Classroom Exercises: Keep Your Students Calm And Focused
While the classroom is designed to be a comfortable environment for students to learn and advance in their education, it is often that teachers have a difficult time maintaining their students’ full attention, especially with younger children. While we might like to think that kids are able to stay calm and focused throughout the school day, the reality is that many students just have too much energy to really stay focused on their education.
That’s why some teachers have started doing basic calming exercises with their students right in the classroom. These breaks from the normal lesson plan can help students focus and be more disciplined in their studies.
While all students may not need the exercises, almost every child in your classroom can benefit in some way from regular calming exercises.
You won’t be conducting full yoga sessions in your classroom, but a few minutes of exercise that incorporates the basics of yoga can help kids feel more relaxed and ready to learn. For example, you can include some of the fundamental stretches and poses found in yoga with deep breathing techniques.
You can even break up these different exercises throughout the day. For example, stretching exercises may be beneficial for students in the morning, since they can help increase blood flow, while deep breathing exercises may be more beneficial after lunch or in the afternoon, when children have just eaten or come in from the playground.
Yoga exercises are also ideal for older children and teens who can really gain something from the relaxation and focus-boosting benefits of yoga.
While many schools have physical education programs, a lot of kids don’t get the regular exercise that they need on a daily basis. You can’t really provide that in a classroom environment, but you can help kids release some of their energy so they can be better prepared to learn in class by using basic calisthenics.
Because of the size of most standard classrooms, you don’t have to necessarily incorporate the standard calisthenics in your class. Instead, try replacing jumping jacks by having your students jump in place while they reach for the ceiling.
Small kids will love the activity, and they can get out a lot of energy in just a minute or two, so the exercise doesn’t eat up all of your class time.
Drawing or Writing Exercises
When you have kids in a classroom that just won’t focus or calm down to get to work, it might be counterintuitive to allow them to do something on their own. After all, they’re going to continue talking or messing around, right?
In actuality, many kids will calm down fairly quickly when asked to work on their own. Something as simple as as telling a child to draw every shape they know on a piece of paper can help them calm down and get into the right mindset for learning.
Best of all, an exercise, like a shape-drawing exercise, only takes a few minutes of class time. Drawing has other benefits for children as well.
Kids get a lot of stimuli in and out of school. It’s no surprise that they often come to class bouncing off the walls and would rather run around, talk and giggle, rather than learn about history, math or any other subject you may be teaching.
By using these exercises, you can help kids of all ages calm down so they can learn efficiently-- they’ll likely enjoy the break from their monotonous schedule of lessons too!
Virginia Cunningham is a health writer and mom of three living in Southern California. She also works with Northwest to educate other parents about their family’s overall health. With three kids of her own, she is always finding new ways that will keep her kids from bouncing off the walls, such as yoga and gardening.