Showing posts with label Movement in the Classroom. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Movement in the Classroom. Show all posts


Scoot: Increase Fun and Engagement in the Classroom

Are your students sitting around with droopy eyes, barely holding their heads above their desks?  Are you tired of hearing yourself talk?  Are you looking for a way to work more movement into your lessons?

Scoot is the activity you are looking for!

Scoot is a great game to play in the classroom.  What is Scoot you ask?  Scoot is a game that can be played with any subject or standard.  The basic routine is simply to teach and you can use ANY content you want.  You set up the game by picking a subject or standard and making (or buying) task cards to use.

OMG, I was amazed at how much my kids loved it when we played earlier this year.  They were so engaged and so focused!  I'm guessing the movement part is really helping them focus.

I am going to use my Spring Short Vowel Word Sort to show you how to play Scoot.  I have played this game with multiple grade levels in various situations and each group has loved it!

Here is the set so SCOOT on over and get it!

To play Scoot, you place a card at each spot.  Each card has a problem to be solved, a word to write or a task to complete.  Students rotate around the places, recording their answers on the recording sheet. Students start at their seats and answer the question, solve the problem or follow the direction at their seats.  On your signal, students stand and move to the next seat.  They look at the card at that seat and answer the question, solve the problem or follow the direction.  I like to use the commands "Start (Followed by work time), Stop, Stand, SCOOT (students move to the right), Sit" and repeat. 

We all end up giggling with my one-word commands!

For my Kindergartners, we mostly play around their tables and sometimes they go to another table and rotate around that one! My Second Graders loved when I put the cards up on the wall around the classroom

For this Short Vowel Word Sort, I created real and nonsense CVC words and put them on eggs.  Students were given a sheet with 2 columns, one for real words and one for nonsense words.  Students rotated around their table.  They read each word on the egg, decided if it was a real word or a nonsense word, and wrote it in the correct column.

Each table has 5 or 6 seats.  Students rotated around 3 tables this day, so they all practiced reading 15-18 CVC words!  I had some kids who are still struggling readers, so my assistant and I stuck near them and helped them sound out the words.
When you first introduce the game, it is important to practice the movement from seat to seat.  First I showed one table how to move with my directions (sit... start... stop... stand... scoot) and then they practiced and modeled for the whole class.  Then the whole class practiced moving around their table.  It took a few rotations for all the kids to get it.  Typical mistakes from students were moving in the wrong direction and moving too many seats.  Students generally got it after a complete rotation around their table.

I also have a FREEBIE for you.  This Scoot: A How to Play Guide will help you get your kids moving in the right direction.  It includes directions and arrow cards to show your students which direction to move.

The game I used in these images is great for Kindergarten in the Spring.  These resources from my store will work just as well.


3 Traditional recess Games that Integrate Learning

Last week, I found myself with some seriously unfocused students during a downpour.  We are in the middle of our testing window for reading AND we had to finish our math benchmark.  When we closed the last testing book-- they went crazy!  We had about an hour left in the day, but I knew anything I had them do would be a battle.  And this wasn't a battle to pick.  Since it was cold and rainy, we headed to the gym.  PE classes had been canceled so we had it all to ourselves.  Here are the games we played!

1.  Book Tag!

Anyone remember TV Tag?  When you were tagged, you sat down.  You had to say the name of a TV show before you could enter the game again.  Book Tag has the same principal.  When students are tagged, they have to sit.  I went around and asked them the title of a book they had recently read!

2.  Red Rover, Red Rover, Send Sounds on Over

Ahhhhh, Red Rover.  Such a popular game when I was young.  Somehow, we all survived with our heads intact!

The updated version plays by the same procedures.  Students stand in 2 straight lines, holding hands and facing the opposite line.  One line calls out "Red Rover, Red Rover, Send _______ on over!"  The person who's name was called, leaves their line and runs to the other side.  If they are stopped by the line, they join the new line.  If they break through the line, they take their team mates that were previously captured and go back to their original line.

By assigning students a letter or phonics pattern, such as -at or Ff you open an opportunity for learning and review.  My school uses LetterLand, so I would assign students a Letterlander and give them each a sign to wear.  As students became more advanced and you moved into phonics patterns, students could advance to calling out words to come over.  For example, if the line called out "Red Rover, Red Rover, Send MAT on over!"  The students with M, A and T would run over.  Or the students with M and AT could run over.  There are so many variations to this!

You can even do it with numbers!

3 Four Square (Math)

To play Four Square (Math) you will need a traditional Four Square court, but inside each square you need to write a number.  I like to use 10 and 100 to practice mental math strategies of 10 more and 100 more.  The teacher, or leader, calls out a starting number and play begins.  As students bounce the ball, they complete the mental math of the square they are in.  For example, if the starting number is 10 and the ball bounces to the person in the '10' square, they would mentally add 10 to the starting number of 10 and say '20'.  Play continues until someone is out and players shift boxes.  The teacher, or leader, says a new number and play begins.

Do you have any fun ways to combine play and learning?


Three Ways to Insert Activity into a Read Aloud

We all know that kids need to move it, move it!  The struggle then becomes how to incorporate a little movement into the lessons without totally losing control!  I have 3 ways you can incorporate movement into your read aloud to help keep kids engaged in the story AND get some activity.

 Do a Little Dance!

Think about the context of your story.  Where is it taking place?  What country or culture does it come from?  Play some music that relates and let them dance.

While studying comparing and contrasting, we read the original Cinderella and several versions.  One of the ones we read was Cindy Ellen: A Wild Western Cinderella.  Instead of a ball, Cindy Ellen attends a square dance!  Right before Cindy Ellen heads off to the dance, I played this video:

The kids LOVED it!  They got a little activity AND understood the story a little more.


Before you read to the class, go through the book and list all the actions that kids can do.  Walk, run, skip, hop, twirl, swim, etc.  

If you want the class to act out the words as they hear them, preteach the words by giving students the action you want them to do.  Then, as you read, pause so students can act out the verb.  

Another way to use this method is to just pause through out the story and call out the words you would like them to act out.

Act out the learning!

This strategy is a great way to help your kinesthetic learners.  As you get to certain parts of the story or text, students can act out what they are understanding or events that are happening.

for example, We recently read a nonfiction text about insects and the metamorphosis they go through.  Students were already familiar with the changes a butterfly goes through. When we got through that section of the text, I guided student through acting out the life cycle.  They started as eggs, emerged as caterpillars, formed a chrysalis and finally emerged as butterflies that fluttered around the room.

These are 3 of the strategies I use to incorporate reading and activity, what are you doing?

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