In school, especially middle and high school, we tend to plan period to period. When we plan in period increments it becomes easy to become so focused on the parts that you forget to think about students’ experience across the whole day. Educator Alexis Wiggins followed a student’s schedule for two days and one of the most eye-opening takeaways was how much of the day  students are required to sit and listen. Maintaining continual focus in one location can be a challenge for all students, and may be particularly challenging for students with ASD. Sitting in one location may limit engagement with content, reduce students’ analysis and application of content, maintain low energy and prevent the kind of engagement teachers hope to see.

clip-art-sleeping-student-Yh3TzV-clipartTo counteract this tendency, consider adding opportunities for movement throughout each period. Movement can be embedded into a lesson or can be a short break from content. Some examples are:

  • Quick movement break (example HERE)
  • Stretches & yoga breathing (example HERE)
  • Stand and deliver activity (example HERE)
  • Rotating station activity (description HERE)


As you are planning your next lesson challenge yourself to build movement into each period.

For Alexis Wiggin’s full article click HERE