have a very small group of children, or if you have had to divide a large group in
half because of lack of space, you may find that you are able to move through a
lesson plan more quickly. If you have more eighteen-month-olds in your class
than three-year-olds, you may find that it takes the younger ones longer to
complete a single lesson—or that you cannot keep their attention long enough
to complete all four activities. Because of the nature of children in general, it
is even possible that one lesson will last thirty minutes, the next only twenty
minutes, and the following just fifteen!
In other words, you will have to be prepared to play it by ear. However, that
should not be a problem. If you have not completed a lesson when your time is
up, you can simply pick up where you left off next time. If your class runs short,
you can always repeat activities from previous lessons.
My hope, of course, is that you will plan for a daily movement session. If
you do movement on a daily basis, I suggest using no more than two Moving
& Learning lesson plans per week, repeating the activities in those two lessons
throughout the week. Otherwise, the children’s senses will be overloaded and
focusing will be much more difficult.
Finally, should you wish to adapt the lesson plans, remember that a les-
son should include both large and small movements whenever possible. In
most cases, this also means that the lesson will consist of both vigorous and
not-so-vigorous activities—which you will definitely want to alternate, for your
sake as well as the children’s.
Creating a Positive Learning Environment
Success is always the goal in a Moving & Learning program, so the atmosphere
of your class plays an important role. Classroom management must be handled
with special care. With so much activity involved, however, maintaining control
is not always easy.
But children love to move—and they like to show off and display their
abilities—especially to you. You can use this to your advantage when present-
ing challenges. If you introduce the challenges with a phrase like “Show me you
can” or “Let me see you,” the children will want to show you they can. It is a
simple technique, but amazingly effective!