Tips and Strategies for Students Who Can’t Sit Still

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If something is just bothering ME… or just bothering YOU (in other words, the teacher) the hard truth is… that doesn’t always mean we must “fix it” or that our kids are the “problem.” This is especially true if it’s not impacting the specific student’s or other students’ learning. But what if it is? What if a kid just won’t sit still and the wiggling and wobbling are distracting others? Then keep reading for some helpful tips and strategies for students who can’t sit still!

*For more tips on how to create a positive AND playful learning environment in your classroom, be sure to join us in P.L.A.Y. (Playful Learning All Year)!

Wiggly students can feel distracting but do they have to be? Check out my tips and strategies for students who can't sit still!

Tips and Strategies for Students Who Can’t Sit Still

In my classroom, I do not require students to sit crisscross on the rug. I show them how, but we have alternatives like legs in front (if you have the room) or legs to the side. Crisscross can be uncomfortable for some of our students AND if they are uncomfortable, they are going to wiggle. 

I also don’t make students do their work with their bottoms in the chair. They may NOT mistreat the furniture or distract others, but we have various workspaces that allow for standing, sitting, etc. If you do not have the space, think about allowing your students to work behind their pushed-in chairs while standing.

Alternative seating options like legs to the side can help students focus and be more still.

This way of thinking and teaching often causes debates like, “Kids need to know how to sit.” No one is saying they don’t but I would question the context. Knowing how to sit and eat a meal politely or sit for a performance are VERY DIFFERENT than being required to sit and work all day.

We may not notice, but as adults, we fidget and move and adjust all throughout our work day.

Movement does not mean that someone is not listening! Likewise… stillness does not mean someone is listening.

Finally, pay attention to which students truly have a hard time on the carpet and offer alternative seating or tools like fidgets.

Sit spots on the carpet can ensure that students have plenty of room to sit comfortably.

Show your students how to have the choices, make the expectations, and follow through! They will be independent with it, I promise.

Want to stress less with even more “must-try” tips while learning how to create a “Playful Learning” environment?

(even if you “aren’t allowed to play”)

If you’re wanting to incorporate playful learning, free-flowing centers, effective routines, and more in your Pre-K or Kindergarten classroom, then you’ll definitely want to join us in P.L.A.Y. (Playful Learning All Year)!

This P.L.A.Y. course is a deep dive into practical ways that you can create a playful learning environment in your classroom!

This course is a deep dive into practical ways that you can create a playful learning environment in your classroom. Be sure to request an invitation so you’re the first to hear when the virtual doors open!

The Kindergarten Connection
Tips and Strategies for Students Who Can\'t Sit Still
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