If your classroom is anything like mine, recess is getting shorter and shorter each year and students are getting more and more wiggly. So now, more than ever, teachers need ways to add some much needed movement into their day. Here are 3 simple and effective tips to get your students moving that you can implement tomorrow!
Research shows that not only do students learn better when that learning is attached to a movement, but students who are given more opportunities to move are also able to focus. We all know that primary students are just not made to sit still for hours on end. My solution? Memory motions!
Here’s how it works. When I’m teaching my students new concepts, I use hand motions to help them understand key words, ideas, or phrases. A special phrase I use to let them know they need to say and do what I’m doing is “My turn, your turn!”
Here’s an example from a lesson on setting.
Mrs. Moore: Alright kiddos, today we’re going to learn about character traits! My turn your turn. Setting is…
Students: Setting is…
Mrs. Moore: (points to wrist) time!
Students: (point to wrist) time!
Mrs. Moore (points to ground) place!
Students: (point to ground) place!
Mrs. Moore: (moves arms in front of her like a rainbow) and environment!
Students: (moves arms in front of themselves like a rainbow) and environment!
From there, I would go on and explain each concept more in depth, but every single time we talk about setting, I would, and my students would, be expected to use their memory motions.
This concept can be used for almost anything, and it’s a little added tool that 1) helps students LEARN and 2) adds a little extra movement to their day.
Play & Prep
The second way to add movement to the classroom is with, what I like to call, Play & Prep! The concept is pretty simple. When you’re questioning or reviewing with your students, say for an upcoming assessment or at the end of a lesson to check for understanding, after a student answers or demonstrates a question correctly, they get to pick a slip from the Play & Prep bucket and the whole class does what’s on the slip!
Click the picture above to grab my Play & Prep slips for free.
This gives students an incentive to participate and allows for a little fun and movement for everyone!
Bowl & Learn Centers
If you do centers in your classroom, they are the perfect opportunity to add some movement, and my bowl and learn centers were specifically created for those wiggly students who NEED the chance to move while they learn.
Here are just a few points about these centers:
- print and go NO cutting AT ALL
- just add bowling pins (available at the dollar store or just use toilet paper tubes or small cups)
- visual directions included
- easy to differentiate
- versions for math, letters & letter sounds, and sight words
There you have it! 3 easy ways to add movement to your classroom. Your most squirmy students will thank you, but all of our students will be grateful. How do you get your students moving? Leave a comment below!