Katelyn Allen


Spring 2020



Degree Name


Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Jeffrey Fink

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Rebecca Sjolander

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Tracy Boyum


The research question addressed in this thesis study was: How do different amounts of physical activity and movement implemented into a suburban kindergarten classroom setting impact student on-task behaviors? The literature topics researched and reviewed before conducting this study were on physical activity and movement, classroom management histories, classroom behaviors, and classroom physical activity. In this study, the mixed methods design was used in monitoring and collecting data with the quantitative method as the main approach and the qualitative method as the secondary. Over a five-week period, 16 kindergartners in a suburban classroom participated, and were monitored, before and after different sets of physical activity and movement, which were known as Brain Breaks. The goal was to examine the impact that different time amounts of physical activity might be having on student on-task behaviors. A quantitative behavioral scale was used before and after each Brain Break as a way to score students on their on-task behaviors. These students also took part in qualitative interviews, before and after each Brain Break set, to gage their personal perspective on the sets. Data revealed that the Medium and High levels of Brain Breaks had a positive impact on students’ ontask behaviors whereas the Low-level Brain Break had a neutral and/or negative impact. Every child is different, and can be impacted differently when it comes to Brain Breaks, but the Medium and High level sets showed a positive influence in relation to on-task behaviors. Ultimately, all of the data, both quantitative and qualitative, showed how impactful physical activity and movement breaks were on students and their on-task behaviors, both positively, neutrally, and negatively. Limitations, future studies and impacts on classrooms today were discussed.


Classroom Management, Motivation, Teachers/ Teaching, Classroom Behaviors








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