Benefits of movement in a Montessori classroom on children's behavior and focus
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Students, who have a hard time staying on task or concentrating on one thing at a time, often need breaks in between their lessons. There is evidence to support the benefits of "movement breaks" for these students. A study was done over a three month period during which careful observations were made and data was collected of the students' use of a movement shelf that was added to a Montessori classroom. Data collection was completed by careful observation using a checklist and by having the participants write their names on slips of paper and place the names into a cup or jar every time they did a particular movement lesson. The checklist allowed for notation of how often participants were off task and therefore not focused on their work. Students were able to choose work from the movement shelf anytime they desired throughout the morning work period. Lessons from the movement shelf were selected more frequently as the study went on. The concentration levels of the participants increased as more and more movement lessons were completed. Having the opportunity to take a "movement break" while working on a lesson seemed to result in students focusing for longer periods of time. The researcher conducted interviews with the students to find out what movement lessons they enjoyed the most and why they liked them.