Teacher Toolbox
Classroom Management - Arousal Regulation / Attention

Cannot Sit Still

Strategies for helping a child with the arousal regulation problem of sitting still include:

  • Provide frequent activity breaks

  • Allow time for students to reorganize after high energy activities. Read a story or complete a quiet activity

  • Arrange with the student that he/she will work for a specific length of time. Use a sand or visual timer to demonstrate the length of time. Make an agreement with the student that he/she will work for a set time, "4 flips of the sand timer before a break". Gradually increase the amount of flips or time length.



  • During work periods have the child sit on a T-stand to help direct energy and focus.
    T-stand made from two by fours can force a child to pay attention to keeping balanced.

  • Have students sit on a barrel seat - they can move on the seat without disturbing others.
A barrel turned upside down makes a stool
that is not easily tilted
Covering the top with a carpet scrap or fuzzy material allows the child to customize their chair
The child can use the inside for storage