TIPS TO KEEP YOUR STUDENTS MOVING |

It’s supposed to be springtime, but somebody forgot to tell
Mother Nature. This time of year presents a challenge for teachers of all grade
levels. I have taught grades 7-12, but I spent the last twenty years of my
career teaching sophomores and seniors.

They are two unique groups for different reasons, and for
each level, spring presents special challenges. The name of the season reflects
the energy that students have as the days get longer and warmer. They “spring”
all around the room and have a difficult time settling anywhere. Sitting still
for an hour or longer makes learning tedious and boring for many students.

Although I incorporated movement into my entire curriculum,
during the final semester of the year, I made it my mission to develop even
more lessons that allowed students to work in groups and to move about the
classroom. They were so much more productive that way, and so much better
behaved. They needed to talk and to laugh and to enjoy being in class. And I
needed that too. After all, I am not immune to the joys of spring.

I have a few ideas and tips that you might find useful. (You
are probably already implementing some of these).

**Grouping Tips for Cooperative Learning:**

· * If I wanted my students to form groups, I would
have them number off from 1-5. Then each student who was a #1 would meet in one
corner of the room, the #2 students would meet in a different corner, and so
on. Group #5 would meet in the center of the classroom. We would drag and
rearrange the furniture as needed so that everyone would have a seat.

· * To ensure that new groups formed frequently, the
next time we did a new group activity, I would have them number off backwards
from five.

· * I frequently asked my students to work in pairs.
Students seated in rows would turn their desks to face one another. This was a
quick and efficient way to choose a partner.

· * Another fun way to group students is to place
colored index cards in a container and have students choose a card. Each color
forms a separate group.

**Get students up on their feet whenever possible.**

· My grammar program involves students working together
to complete the group practice assignments. Then, I would call out the answers
and we would grade the papers in class.

* I always called out the answers out
loud. Then, students would score the papers. They each had a copy of my grading scale chart in their notebooks. For example: “minus 7 equals 93.”

* Then I asked the whole class to stand as I called out the grades starting with 50 or below. When the student heard his/her grade, he/she was to sit down. At the end, the students with 99 or 100 were still standing and got a round of applause, but no one was embarrassed at having a low score. The way my

*Simple Steps to Sentence Sense*grammar program is structured, most of the class will have very high scores, and working in pairs gives them an even better opportunity to be successful.

· * Sometimes, I had students stretch and walk
around the classroom a couple of times before we sat down to do an assignment
that required an extended period of deep concentration.

· * I asked students to stand and take several deep
breaths before they began an extended writing assignment such as an essay or an
essay test.

· * Once in a while, we would have snowball fights
while grading papers. (A really strange event since I taught in El Paso, Texas.)
Here’s how it worked. After all students were finished with an assignment, they
would crumple up their notebook papers and, on my count, they could toss them
at each other. When I said “freeze” they would stop, pick up a snowball close
to them, and that is the one they would smooth out and grade.

· * Whenever possible, encourage students to come to
the front of the classroom and demonstrate their answers on the board.

· * Encourage students to teach a concept or a
lesson to their classmates. They can teach in pairs or in groups.

· * Take your students outdoors whenever possible
and let them work in small groups.

4.

**And don’t forget that teachers also need to move around the classroom, both for the students’ benefit and for their own.**
· * Teach from the back of the room and improve
students’ listening skills.

· * Walk around the room stopping to speak to
individual students or to interact with group members.

· * After students are fully engaged in an
assignment, sit down for a short while to take the focus off of yourself, but
stand up frequently and move about.

Movement is the key to keeping your students engaged and
involved in the lesson you are presenting. Take a look at one of your lessons
and see if you can revise it to include movement.

You will also find lots of
no-prep lessons on TeachersPayTeachers.com. Visit the blogs below and find clever examples of ways to keep your students moving in the classroom.

You have lots of great ideas. Thanks for sharing!

ReplyDeleteGreat ideas! I love the reminder that wellness is for teachers, too. ;) Thanks for sharing.

ReplyDeleteYour ideas are very helpful. I really like the tips for grouping--especially the colored index card hack. Thanks so much!

ReplyDeleteI enjoy teaching from all areas of the classroom - keeps the students on their toes! :)

ReplyDeleteYour snowball fight idea is so clever! Thank you for sharing terrific ideas for encouraging movement in the classroom!

ReplyDeleteGreat tips - thank you so much for sharing all these ideas!

ReplyDelete