This is a crazy part of the year for every teacher. Our students are getting back from Spring Break with a taste of what summer is going to be like. No daily schedule, no rules and routines to follow, and no sitting for hours on end!
I knew once we returned for this final stretch, I would need to make sure I had some fail-proof ways to get my kids to focus despite their serious spring fever! I have compiled some ways that I’m inspiring my class to move it move it and I hope these tips can help you on your final days until summer vaca!
1. Go Noodle and Go Noodle Plus
My kids this year LOVE to dance, sing, and be silly. I have recently discovered an even greater power that Go Noodle has than I ever could have realized. My class and I discovered, the higher power of Go Noodle PLUS! OH MY WORD, I don’t know how many fantastic things I can say about it. Now my students are Koo Koo Crazy for all Go Noodle videos but now you’re telling me there’s a way to incorporate spelling and math into these brain breaks?!
My littles first tried out Body Spell with our new short oo words. I was able to customize the spelling list to incorporate all of our words for the week and some of our new high frequency words. My kids LOVED it. They had no idea they were even learning while body spelling! Such an amazing teacher win!
We’ll be keeping the party going with some dancing around the classroom with Freeze It! also from GoNoodle Plus! With this game you can choose your grade level and different categories for your kids to play with.
We have tried out the reading and addition to start. The students are shown a word or addition sentence and the students have to answer it. When they finish, they dance around the room until it’s time to FREEZE! Then the kids had to answer another question. The best part is, you can customize this game as well! GoNoodle what would I do without you?!
2. Word Hunts
My students have fallen in love with hunting around the room this year! It’s very little prep work and one of the quietest times in my classroom. I have strict rules for word hunts. We first pass out papers to everyone and get our binders and pencils ready to hunt around the room with us. If you don’t have binders clipboards work great or any hard surface that students can use to lean their papers on. I give my students a quiet moment to glance around the room and begin to notice where words or pictures are hiding. They are NOT to tell any friends where they see the words hidden.
On my signal, usually a loud GO! my students get up and begin their hunt without.a.sound. They are given clear directions from the beginning of the year that if there are too many students by one word they are to go to another area and come back when it’s less crowded. In the pictures we’re hunting around for /ar/ words using A Year of Many Firsts’ fantastic Smart Clark packet!
Word hunts can be incorporated into so many different parts of your day: spelling, phonics, science vocabulary, math facts, grammar sorts, or word problems.
My students know that once they have completed their hunt, they return to their seats and use 3 of their found words in sentences on the back of their sheets. This is a quick and simple way for me to see how has understood the concept and who still needs assistance.
3. Scoot Games
My students have really come to love scoot games! The concept and again prep for these activities are simple and low maintenance, just what teachers need this time of the year! Simply cut out the cards, place one on each child’s desk, hand out recording sheets, and scoot away. I do suggest practicing “scooting,” around the classroom before starting the actual game so your students understand where they need to go to follow the numbers.
The trickiest part is for the student who starts with number 20, it takes a few practice rounds for them to automatically realize they must find card number 1 as their first stop! The children scoot around to each card until they have returned to their own seat to answer their card’s question. My students have played scoot with compound words and this week we’ll be working on scooting around with my new possessive pronoun activity from my newest packet, Give A Dog His Bone-A Possessive Pronoun Mini-Unit. Find it at my TpT store here!
We all have those lessons that sometimes require our students to sit for extended periods of time on the carpet. Their little bodies start to fidget, their hands become distracted, and their eyes begin to wander. We have all seen it happen. I would love to say I always keep my lessons mini but there are definitely days when I have maxi-lessons instead of mini-lessons. For those reasons I almost ALWAYS have my students leave the carpet with a fun spin. I’ll ask them to return to their seats by doing several different things:
*tip toe as quiet as a mouse
*waddle like a penguin
*hop like a kangaroo
*shake, rattle, and roll
*rock out on the air guitar
*dribble your basketball
The list goes on and on. But most importantly that quick 10 second transition is fun, breaks up the monotony of the day, and recharges my students before they needed to be seated again.
|Image from education.com…click here for original post.|
Children love to show off their dramatic skills! I love to use their flare for the dramatics to my advantage with a quick game of charades! We’ve played verb charades, vocabulary charades, spelling word charades, and important people charades. It is a quick 5 minute activity that gets my students up and moving and interacting with each other. I usually put the cards into a can so students can’t see the words before they act out their chosen word.
6. Set clear expectations for behavior
This is an area that I know I still need to work on, but, when you have a classroom like mine where we’re constantly on the move clear expectations are key. We ALWAYS model a “wrong” way to do an activity and then have that same student show us the “right” way to complete the activity. My students love to be actors and get their sillies out when modeling the wrong way. I always respond with something along the lines of, “Oh _______ you’re so silly! Now I KNOW that you can show us the correct way now!” My littles usually light up at that and show us the precise way to complete the activity. Having those student models rather than an adult model behavior seems to stick with my students more and make it more personal.
I hope that this post has given you some ideas to help inspire movement activities with your little learners! If you’re planning on using Body Spell by Go Noodle or if you already do this activity in your classroom I have posted a free recording sheet in my TpT store for you! Head on over and snag it here!
We all know these next few weeks can be crazy but as Kid President likes to say:
Here’s to dancing through the last few weeks of school! Enjoy!