24 Strategies to Help Learners Who Move Around the Classroom Needlessly

Are you looking for strategies to help students who move around the classroom needlessly? If so, keep reading.

1. Connect with parents (e.g., notes home, phone calls, etc.) to disseminate information about the student’s progress. The parents may reinforce the student at home for demonstrating physical self-control at school.

2. Provide the student additional duties (e.g., chores, errands, etc.) to keep them actively involved and give them a feeling of success or accomplishment.

3. Solidify on-task behavior by providing a full schedule of daily activities. Stop lag time from happening when the student would be free to take part in excessive and unnecessary body movements.

4. Intervene early and often when there is a problem to prevent a more severe problem from happening.

5. Provide a full schedule of learning activities. Keeping the student occupied should prevent unnecessary movement.

6. Make sure the student has all the learning materials appropriate to perform a task to lessen the need to leave their seat.

7. Remove the student immediately from a learning experience when they are moving about unnecessarily until they can participate appropriately.

8. Provide supervision at all times and in all portions of the school environment.

9. Urge the student to create an understanding of themselves and those around him/her. Get the student to periodically step back and ask themselves, “Am I fidgeting and being overactive?”

10. Give constant, positive reinforcement for appropriate behavior. Ignore as many unacceptable behaviors as possible.

11. Praise the student for demonstrating appropriate behavior based on the duration of time the student can be successful. As the student shows success, slowly increase the duration of time required for reinforcement.

12. Select a peer to model staying in their seat for the student.

13. Take into account the student’s age before expecting them to sit quietly for a period. Middle school students need frequent chances for movement.

14. Give the student a calm, quiet environment in which to work.

15. Praise those students in the classroom who demonstrate physical self-control.

16. Give the student an easily grasped list of consequences for unacceptable behavior.

17. Minimize the emphasis on competition. Competitive learning activities may cause the student to become anxious and move about unnecessarily.

18. Plan leisure activities for the end of the day. Make participation in these learning activities dependent upon the conclusion of daily duties and appropriate behavior.

19. Talk with the student to explain(a) what they are doing wrong (e.g., moving in seat, moving about the room, running, etc.) and (b) what they must be doing (e.g., practicing self-control, following the rules, etc.).

20. Take the student away from the learning experience until they can demonstrate appropriate behavior and refrain from moving about unnecessarily.

21. Consider using a classroom management app. Click here to view a list of apps that we recommend.

22. Consider using an adaptive behavior management app. Click here to view a list of apps that we recommend.

23. Consider using Alexa to help the student learn to behave appropriately. Click here to read an article that we wrote on the subject.

24. Click here to learn about six bonus strategies for challenging problem behaviors and mastering classroom management.

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