I teach on the second floor. When I first started having students move in the classroom, I panicked because I knew the teacher below me would hear my students moving around. This feeling often echoes in the back of my mind as I get students up an moving in my classroom. This is on my mind today because I overheard another teacher ask if her kids were too loud earlier today. This comment was in reference to the fact that she had students participating in a movement activity. The teacher in the room below her had no problem with the movement. There are a couple of thoughts I have regarding this situation.
My first thought revolves around respect. I think it is important for teachers to let other teachers know that they are using movement in their classrooms, how long the movement activities will last, and if there are days when it is absolutely necessary for a quiet classroom (like a test day). This builds respect for both teachers involved. It is hard to be on the second floor because having students simply walk around can cause noise disruptions to the class below.
The second thought is it is important for teachers to pick movement activities responsibly with the surrounding teachers in mind. For example, if I want students to jog in place, I tell them that they can not have their feet leave the floor. If I want them to march in place, I demonstrate how to do so in a quiet manner. I often tell students that when we move we are to do so as quietly as we can. This provides them with an extra challenge. If we are taking notes around the room, students are not allowed to make any type of noise. If we are jogging in place, students are quietly listening to question prompts and processing information.
Movement is important. The teacher I overheard today also mentioned how engaged her students were during the movement activity, and how important is was for them to get out of theirs seats. Even though some may see a movement classroom as chaotic, it can actually be a very safe, engaging, and organized environment.