Let’s get moving!  To assist in taking action toward adding or increasing classroom physical activity, this page offers tips for implementation.  (For more information on how Classrooms in Motion can help promote adoption of classroom physical activity, see the services page.)

SECTION 1: Action Steps and Recommendations

  • Invite students to share stories about being physically active.
  • Share personal stories of being physically active with students when applicable.
  • Start small and build foundation of expectations. Present as part of learning process where class rules apply.
  • Create a code of conduct for classroom physical activity with students that specifies behavior expectations.
  • Schedule Motion Moments into the daily curriculum.
  • Note the times of scheduled Motion Moments on the board for students.
  • Add a Motion Moment to transition times.
  • Incorporate physical activity into a familiar lesson plan.
  • Have students create “persuasive posters” to promote physical activity that can be placed around the school campus.
  • Assign a weekly Student Activity Captain to lead Motion Moments for the class.
  • Create a “toolkit” of activity ideas. (Check out the Sworkit Kids app for inspiration.)
  • Consider use of music to signal appropriate activity intensity and transition back to learning. (Music ideas)
  • Include a movement station, with activity cards, in learning center rotations.
  • Send students to other classrooms to demonstrate classroom physical activities, especially for younger grades.
  • Share a physically active lesson plan with a colleague.
  • Set aside time each month to look at a classroom physical activity resource for new ideas.
  • Begin grade level meetings with a Motion Moment and engage in a debrief of successes and challenges of that week’s activities.
  • Select a Physical Activity Leader for your grade level team to promote and facilitate classroom physical activity.
  • Create a school team of Physical Activity Leaders across grade levels.
  • Start staff meetings by demonstrating a Motion Moment and engaging fellow teachers in classroom physical activity success.

SECTION 2: Sample Daily Schedule (3rd Grade)

Original Schedule


Modified Schedule

to incorporate physical activity

7:25 – 7:45 Warm-up 7:25 – 7:35 Warm-up
7:35 – 7:45 Morning Motion Moment
7:45 – 8:00 Morning announcements 7:45 – 8:00 Morning announcements
8:00 – 9:00 Math 8:00 – 9:00 Math
9:00 – 10:15 Language Arts 9:00 – 9:05 Motion Moment
9:05 – 10:15 Language Arts
10:15 – 11:05 Specials 10:15 – 11:05 Specials
11:05 – 12:05 Language Arts 11:05 – 12:05 Language Arts with content based activity
12:05 – 12:35 Lunch 12:05 – 12:35 Lunch
12:35 – 1:05 Recess 12:35 – 1:05 Recess
1:05 – 1:35 Flex 1:05 – 1:35 Flex with physically active station in rotation
1:35 – 2:45 Science/Social Studies 1:35 – 1:40 Motion Moment
1:40 – 2:45 Science/Social Studies


SECTION 3: Management Tips

Link to helpful chapter about creating expectations for appropriate behavior.

Link to article about importance of consistency in management.

Recommendation: Engage students in the creation of a code of conduct for classroom physical activity. This allows students to have ownership of the expectations, while ensuring that expectations specific to activity are cleared defined and stated. Brainstorm ideas with students of appropriate guidelines for classroom physical activity, encouraging students to rephrase ideas as positive, “do” statements. Then facilitate a discussion where students vote on the most important rules and expectations. Once created, have all students sign that they will follow the code.

Link to sample Code of Conduct for Classroom Physical Activity.


SECTION 4: Action Plan and Goal Setting

Offering students opportunities to be physically active in the classroom has the potential to benefit students’ behavior, preparedness to learn, academic performance, and health. To engage students in activity, it is the responsibility of the classroom teacher to determine how best to incorporate movement into the curriculum. You are the expert on your class! Consider your classroom, your teaching style, your students, current levels of classroom physical activity, and reasonable expectations for increasing activity opportunities. Change can be difficult, so start small, expect setbacks, and stick with it!

Use this form to create an action plan for increasing classroom physical activity that will provide structure to your implementation. An example of a completed form may help get you started.