Tuesday, July 29, 2014


I was never one to sit still!  At least that's what my mother always told me!  Isn't it true for our students these days?  Now, more than ever, students' attention span is not what it used to be!  So, how do you combat this?  You MOVE them!  We all know that getting students out of their seats can be beneficial in the long run.   Here's a link to a great article (and reminder) that movement can actually ENHANCE the the learning process.  In a nutshell, "Moving With the Brain in Mind," discusses the physical benefits that directly correlate to increased learning.  1.  Circulation increases heart rate, which gives you a better performance.  2.  Movement gives learners a new spatial reference on your classroom.  3.  We learn in SHORT bursts, not ones that drag on and on and cause us to become squirmy.  4.  We, as humans, are designed to be physical. (walking, running, eating, and DOING)  Keep in mind sitting in chairs is something a person invented...  5.  Certain movement can stimulate the release of your body's natural motivators  6.  Both explicit and implicit learning occur when we are academically engaged, as well as moving about.

There are always BRAIN BREAKS...where you simply take a moment to stretch, dance, walk, jog, etc. to get the blood going!  I found some super FREE resources on brain breaks. (Click images for access)

Another way to get your students moving is to actually plan a lesson where they are required to move as part of the skill practice.  Most of us are familiar with the "I Do (modeling), We Do (teacher/students are practicing together), You Do Together (students' collaborative learning) and the You DO (independently) approach to teaching a concept.  Why not create opportunities where your students are UP AND MOVING during the "We Do" or "You Do Together" phase of the lesson?   It's simple and immediate!   For example, if you're teaching Fact and Opinion, simply call out some statements and ask your kids to do a particular movement if you share a fact, and a different movement if you share an opinion.  BAM!  You've given them time to practice the skill with you formatively assessing their progress, as well as given them a chance to stretch and increase their chances of learning.  It works well for almost every single subject or concept you teach!  (Move this way if you're an adjective/adverb, Move this way if you're an odd/even number, Move this way if you should round up/down, Move this way if the evidence in the text helps prove characterization, setting, etc.)   Wow...the possibilities are endless.

Be sure to investigate "Active Academics," a website devoted to Learning on the Move!  It's a FREE site...but requires you simply register to access!  I was able to acquire activities after signing up in a matter of 90 seconds!

  Teachers love to create their own resources as well!  You know I do!   I've got some activities (INCLUDING FREEBIES) that you're welcome to try out.  The 4 Corners game is probably my favorite because it can be adapted to almost anything!  Be sure to try out the FREEBIE version with "Types of Sentences."  

You've probably heard of the SCOOT games.  Funny thing-- when I first began playing them in my early years of teaching (Ummmmm.....20 some years ago), I always referred to them as Road Runner.  :-)  When "Scoot" caught on, I refused (politely) to call my games that.  I still enjoyed the little ROAD RUNNERS running around (okay, walking at a swift pace and switching seats) in my classroom.  So the race is on in your room if you want to try this freebie on contractions.

I played softball growing up, and had 3 brothers who played baseball, so I'm sure that was the inspiration behind some of the Bullseye games!  I
think these require a little more brain power to score, but they are great fun, nonetheless!   This can be a really FUN way to practice a skill, while bodies are pitching pennies or other small objects.  This one is a FREEBIE on NOUNS...loaded with Differentiation practice!

So what are some things you do in your classroom to get your kids up and moving?  Please share!  I'm that big fan of teachers who share their ideas with others, so we all benefit.  SO... let's hear it!  Give yourself a shout-out.  I'll put names in a hat from those that share and on August 11th (Our students' first day back) I'll draw 2 lucky winners!  Primary (K-2) and an Intermediate (3-5) teacher.  **Be sure to list what grade level you teach, what your get up and move idea is for your grade level, AND your email addy so I can send you something!  *I have some BRAND NEW GRAMMAR RECIPE activities I'll send your way....an engaging, creative center that you can set up for students to APPLY those grammar skills you've taught them!  *I have a primary and intermediate version!  :-)

Bananas for LEARNING while MOVING!