For Learners with Special Needs

Movement Increases Attention

When students move, it stimulates an increase in amine levels, the brain's primary fuel for the attentional system. Movement is an effective learning strategy to improve focus and alertness, especially for children with ADHD. It is important to plan movement breaks from homework and to teach students ways to move that are not disruptive in a class setting.

Ways to Move to Enhance Attention

Movement Strengthens Learning

Think creatively at home to incorporate movement when students are learning new content. Movement is a powerful memory devise improving retrieval and cognition. For example, students could move in a way to represent new vocabulary words or act out a story.

Biological Basis for Movement

The cerebellum is the part of the brain that processes both movement and learning. The cerebellum is densely packed with neuron cells, containing 1/2 of all of the brain's neurons, most of which are outbound to influence the rest of the brain.

When students move, the amount of oxygen transported to the brain is increased. Movement also leads to the release of neurotrophin chemicals that improve the neurons ability to communicate with one another.

Movement is a quick way to change the learners mental state and get the brain prepared for learning.

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Jensen, E. (2005). Teaching with the brain in mind (2nd ed.). Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Low, K. (2014, June 13). Hyperactivity improves learning in ADHD children. About Health. Retrieved from