3 Fun, Easy Ways To GET KIDS MOVING While Learning!

Hi, Teachers!

It's getting to be that time of year where we just perpetually want a nap all the time forever. Am I right? The kids are more active than usual, and everyone is excited for winter break. Today I want to share a few of my favorite fun ways to GET. KIDS. MOVING. while they learn.

Frequent movement breaks make a dramatic and positive impact on students' behavior. 

It's even better when these movement breaks can solidify skills being taught. The first of these activities can be used on days in which your kids need more time to practice before moving ahead, and the other two activities can be tucked in whenever you have some free time! And, let's be real. You can tuck them in in the middle of a lesson when the kids are flailing around at the meeting area and you know you're going to lose them if they don't get the wiggles out. Oh, that doesn't happen to you? Yeah, me neither...

Get Kids Moving While Learning - A Word On Third



1. SCOOT


Scoot is a fun game that gets kids moving but keeps them focused. My class LOVES to play! Today my class played an elapsed time version of the game, which was created by Janet at Fishyrobb and can be purchased online by clicking on the picture above. Basically, I set out about 20-25 task cards. Each card has a problem on it which kids have to solve. The kids have to focus and answer each question by getting up and moving from card to card.

Get Kids Moving While Learning - A Word On Third


I make sure my kids have access to manipulatives while they play. As you can see, my student chose to use her Judy clock, which I wrote about in a previous blog post here. You can see she's sitting by a task card, and her answer sheet is next to her. When kids are done before other students, that's no problem! I have them do something on the back of the card. Something quick and easy is to pick a number and have them represent it as many ways as they can. You can see a student of mine doing that while he waits for me to call "Scoot" so he can move to the next card below.

Get Kids Moving While Learning - A Word On Third

Since today is our 65th day of school, I chose the number 65. Some kids drew base-ten blocks, wrote 65 in expanded form, drew 65 cents in different ways, or showed addition problems with a sum of 65. The kids get really creative! It also serves as a great quick-check to see who needs to revisit concepts.

My advice? Don't re-invent the wheel. There are a lot of versions of the game "Scoot" available online in stores like Teachers Pay Teachers. I have also cut up worksheet problems and taped them to index cards which I then number. I prefer writing word problems that are fun or engaging, though! My kids love when I tell them I have real-life problems that I need their help in solving. Usually these problems revolve around my two puppies. They always get a chuckle of how much I need to "go to Petsmart" or "train my dogs." They must think all I do when I'm not at school is dog-related! Ha! ...Actually, they aren't far off.


2. BAGGAGE CLAIM

Okay, I know I said the last game was one of my favorites, but this one is a bigger favorite!! I have the kids do this during Morning Meeting as a greeting pretty often (I play with them too!), but you can do it during any time of the day. My kids write their names on an index card and then answer a question I ask. Let's say I want my kids to get a little bit of review time during our study of Monarch Butterflies. On an index card or scrap piece of paper, I might ask my kids to write their favorite 2 facts about butterflies that they learned during our unit of study. Once they finish, it's time to play!

Get Kids Moving While Learning - A Word On Third

The kids circulate and trade their cards. When they start, they say, "Good morning, ___! Let me show you what's in my bag!" and read their card to their classmate. After they both share what's in their "bag" (index card), they trade bags. Now they greet someone else and pretend they have lost their bag. They greet the next person, saying "Good morning, ____! I lost my bag. Let me tell you what's in ____'s bag." After both people share their cards, they switch again. This exposes kids to a lot of different facts. At the end, I play "Who Remembers" and ask the kids who remember wrote which fact. The whole thing takes as long or as short as I want it to. I usually play Baggage Claim for about 3 minutes and then "Who Remembers" for 1. I love Baggage Claim because it connects a lot of important social skills to our academic work.


3. CONCENTRIC CIRCLES

This can be as long or as short as you want it to be, but it can be chaotic if you don't have a plan for how to do it. Basically, the kids stand in two circles and talk to partners to share ideas. Here's how I do it...

  1. Have half the class stand in a circle facing inwards. If you have younger kids, you may want them to hold hands to form a good circle and then have them drop hands when they're in a good position.
  2. Have the other half of the class go inside of the circle and stand in front of someone from the outside circle. They should be face-to-face.
  3. Tell the kids what you want them to think about. (If you're reviewing or activating prior knowledge, it might be something like, "What did you learn about chemistry last week that surprised you?" or "What are you wondering about spiders?")
  4. Have kids talk about their ideas. Use a quiet signal to get the kids attention when you want them to stop. (Usually my kids talk for about 1 minute.) It might feel like it's not a lot of time, but I promise kids will learn to speak quickly if you are consistent with this.
  5. Have only the inside circle move one person to the left. It's important to tell the outside circle kids not to move.
  6. Have kids share the answer to another question and repeat the process. You can ask different questions each time the kids move to a new person in the circle, or you can ask the same question each time. It's important to give kids think-time for this again if you change the question! You should also keep it moving so it feels fun and keeps kids active.

Get Kids Moving While Learning - A Word On Third


I found this picture after a quick google image search. This is what it will look like. Those are some of my favorite ways to get kids moving when they are antsy! Anyway, I'm off to work on the winter math lab I'm going to post to my TPT store and use in my classroom. 

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What do you do when you know your kids need a bit of a movement break? Comment below!

2 comments:

  1. I love scoot! Most of the time I end up letting them move at their own pace and then have an activity for when they are finished because of the very wide range of abilities in my class. Sometimes we do a silent scoot and sometimes I will let them discuss problems as they walk around as long as it stays on topic.

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    Replies
    1. I love Scoot too, Julie! What's your favorite way to play Scoot of the ways you mentioned? Do you have a favorite Scoot game you bought/made? Do you use it in math or other subject areas too?

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