What are some other ways you can bring movement into the classroom?
So you want to get your class up and moving... where to begin? These are a few simple activities you can use to get students on their feet and out of their seats. As recess time gets taken over by the cold weather, some of these energy-burners may become the difference between an unruly afternoon and one that makes way for learning!
Count Down Shake Down: The class should do this in unison. Beginning with the right hand, shake and count in rhythm 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1, then do the same with the left hand, the right foot and the left foot. Begin again with the right hand and count in rhythm this time from 9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1, move to the left hand, right foot and left foot. Continue counting down until you get to one. You can start at a higher or lower number depending on how much shaking you need the class to do!
What's Shakin'? Call out parts of the body to shake, for example:
Shake your right hand.
Add your left shoulder.
Add your right knee.
What's shakin'? Students will respond: "right hand, left shoulder, right knee"
Now, take out your right knee.
Add your left knee.
Take out your right hand.
Add your head.
What's shakin'? Students will respond: "left shoulder, left knee, head"
Zip, Zap, Zop: This activity is done in a circle. The starter gestures (with the palms of both hands together, arms straight, and all fingers pointing out) to someone in the circle and says, "ZIP". That person gestures to someone else in the circle and says, "ZAP". That person gestures to someone else in the circle and says "ZOP". The next player says "ZIP" and play continues.
Subject Specific Movements
Vocabulary Exercises: Students create stretches or exercises that express the meaning behind each of their vocabulary words. These exercises can be used to start each class period or practiced right before the test so the words are fresh in their minds.
Math Movement Chants: Many teachers use math chants and accompanying movements to help students remember concepts or formulas. This site may provide you with a few ideas but you can just as easily have your students create their own.
Acting Out History: Have students choose particular events from their history or social studies text books to dramatize. Acting out these events and then talking about the experience is a good way to make these "events from the past" relevant to students' lives today.
Science in the Everyday: As much as possible try to connect science concepts to real-world applications. Bring in living things when discussing biology, use common household chemicals when talking about chemistry, look at everyday phenomena to explain physical theories. This is more work for you up front, but the more students connect what they learn in a textbook with their own lives, the more interesting and engaging the material will seem!