Let’s make a list of our favorite activities that keep students moving and learning!!
The list has been started (see below) and can be added to at:
More Student Engagement resources can be found at: http://www.lex5.k12.sc.us/webpages/wmorris/se.cfm?subpage=19154
Activities to keep students moving and engaged:
Scoot – Place 1-3 numbered questions on a note card on a desk. Student A may start on #9, the student just has to keep up with the number of the question as they write answers. Play a song, ring a bell or just shout SCOOT after enough seconds to complete each card – shoot for 30 seconds or less. Students must move from desk to desk until they have answered all of the questions. They love it!
Adaptations for Scoot: Scoot for any reason –
Have students write a note down from the over head then scoot to another desk and write the next note.
For review, have students open their notebook to the last lesson’s notes, give each student a highlighter, they are to scoot to another desk and highlight the answer to a question that should be found in the notes.
Have each student get out a sheet of paper. Write the brainstorming topic at the top of the paper. Scoot to another desk to write an idea, when you scoot the next desk you may not repeat an idea already on the page – many students end up with several new brainstormed items – when they return to their desk they have a whole page of them!
Channel your inner Cheerleader – how can you make any vocabulary word or list of things to know go with a physical movement? Use your hands, arms, legs, body and MOVE!
Ex. Blood travels through the body from the heart to the lungs back to the heart and then all over the body. Students can “cheer” this – hands over heart, hands over lungs, hands back over heart, then hands/arms stretched way out, repeat – this goes great after a little practice and “Ready, OK!” Math has students act out slope with their arms – there are dozens of ways to get the body moving. Add music and have some fun with this one!!
Voting or Agree/Disagree – for any agree/disagree or choice type questions try any of these. Thumbs up/thumbs down, stand up/sit down, or line up to the left/right of the room. Addition to line up – Once in a line partner up with someone from the other line and discuss your point of view.
Corners – for questions that aren’t yes/no, A/B, agree/disagree – use walls, corners or areas in your room for voting. Place letters or vocabulary words in these areas and have students move to them. Students can discuss why they picked where they are and so much more. Teachers get a visual of how many students understand concepts. Ex. Corner choices can be open: Strongly disagree, disagree, agree, strongly agree or A, B, C, D or which type of organism does this picture represent Animal, Plant, Fungi, Protist? etc. You ask or hold up a question/picture/object and students move to the area they think matches their best answer. This is most fun when the question has more than one right answer so students can argue/discuss.
Silent Graffiti – On a large piece of paper bulletin board paper or the whiteboard have students come up and write what they know about a topic/question you present/etc, what questions they have, what connections they make to what another person wrote, anything – this is great feedback for you, gives students a chance to move, and THINK!
Circle the Wagons – Divide students into two groups. Group one makes a circle with all bodies facing one way. Group two makes an inner circle with all bodies facing the opposite direction. When the music starts (or you say go) have students walk. When the music stops (or you say stop) they must share something with the person they ended up standing closest to. This takes some practice but once they get the hang of it, it is pretty effective. Example a question might be – name one thing you learned from today’s lesson. The inside person shares then the outside person must share something different that they learned. So this enough and you’ve reviewed the entire lesson!
Pop corn Vocabulary game. Vocabulary review game. The teacher creates cards in a matrix.
I have …Red Who has….What color is the background of the SC flag?
I have …Blue Who has…..What color is a basket ball?
I have …Orange Who has ….What color is a cardinal?
Cut these cards up – (best to use card stock) start with the first card – the teacher would ask the person with ‘red’ to begin. They would stand up and read “Who has…What color is the background of the SC flag?” The person that has the answer to the question ‘pops up’ when they have the answer and says “I have…Blue! Who has….” And the game continues until all vocabulary words have been used.
Do the Flamingo!
This is an adaptation of think-pair-share. Pair up students – the person talking must balance on one leg (like a flamingo)- they may talk as long as they do not put down a foot. Once they lose their balance they lose their turn and the other partner may talk as long as he/she balances on one foot. FUN!