University of Exeter
Tools for Schools
Moving is grooving

Moving is grooving

Key Points

This strategy involves creating and customising a movement menu for your class and formalising ways for students to ask you for permission for a movement break

  • Classroom activity
  • And/or individual (personalised) for the toolkit student
  • Gathering lots of ideas in one place
How is this tweaked for flex?

Children who are more hyperactive than others, and those who struggle with focus, will benefit from being able to move at very frequent intervals. There is lots of evidence that this improves their ability to focus. This strategy is to remind you to facilitate this as much as possible, as well as ensuring you have lots of options for different types of movement to hand

  • Get ready to make a 'movement menu' with the student or class (use the movement menu template (other design) and icons, see the movement menu ideas for help)
  • Talk to others about resources you have in school that could be on there (e.g. trampoline)
  • Using Know me and your knowledge of the child, identify when the child is likely to need a break. This might relate to what is going on in the classroom e.g. every 5 minutes when doing quiet work; or when the child’s behaviour signals they need to move e.g. when they start jiggling their legs in their seat
  • Make your “movement menu” with your class or student- a poster of ideas for small bursts of activity and movement inside and out the classroom. 
  • Come up with some signals a child can use to tell you they need to 'move and groove' and put these on the signal template, and some ways for you to identify to the child that they might need to move
  • When the child signals that they need a 'move or groove', or you notice it may be beneficial, together choose an option from the menu
  • Set a time limit or boundary with the child, asking them what they think is appropriate or how long they think they need. The classroom guidelines might help formalise this
  • When the grooving time is over, remind the child of the boundary you set together 
  • Review how they are feeling - if they need more grooving, or if they feel they can settle now
  • Figure out if this is helpful for the student- use the move and groove tracking table to keep track
  • Note down if you noticed anything different: were you worried about anything during the groove, did it impact on the child’s engagement or learning in any way (positive or negative)
  • Did you remember to look for cues and to suggest movement breaks? What could help you remember next time?
  • Ask your class or child how they feel about moving and grooving and if they want to change anything
  • Each week, review the tracking table and the movement menu, and decide if you want to make any changes, add any movement ideas or remove any that don’t work or fit
  • Use the reflection template to note how you think the strategy has gone and think about how you will continue to incorporate this into your daily activities