Movement in the Classroom: What is Movement in the Classroom? Incorporating movement in the classroom is a fun and simple way to increase physical activity during the school day and also aids in improved learning and attention skills. Ideas for incorporating Movement in YOUR classroom: Short Activities to Get the Blood Flowing (Good to Use as Transitions): Cross Crawl – Starting with a walking motion, lift the right knee slowly and bring the left hand to touch it gently. Alternate by bringing the right hand to touch the left knee gently. Repeat. Crazy Arms - Have students start with their left arm going up and down in a steady rhythm. Once they put this movement on “auto-pilot” (meaning they can do it without thinking about it) add in the right arm doing up, side, down in the same rhythm. Lazy Eights - Hold thumb at eye level. Thumb moves in a large figure eight pattern in front of the body, eyes tracking the movement. Variations – Try both thumbs making 8s at the same time side by side, or both thumbs making 8s that mirror each other. Criss-Cross - Hold your nose with your right hand. Reach under with your left hand to hold your right ear lobe. Switch, picking up speed as you go. Longer Movement Activities: Back-Writing - Students love to spell words on a partner’s back, then have the partner guess what they’re writing. This can be used with spelling words, vocabulary words, verbs, nouns, etc. Patterns – You and your students can create movement patterns. For example, brainstorm as a class and list appropriate movements on the board (clap, stomp, bounce, snap, etc). Then split students up into groups or pairs to create patterns (ABAB, AABB, ABC, etc) using these movements. Let them perform their patterns for other groups to see if the groups can correctly identify the pattern. Jump Rope Math Facts - Students work in pairs. One student can ask a math fact (addition, subtraction, multiplication, etc) and have the other student jump rope the answer while counting their jumps. This has limitless options: counting by 2s, 3s, evens, odds, etc! Word Problems that Move - Ask your students to write word problems that move. For example: Megan did 5 sit-ups. She then did 3 times as many push-ups. How many movements did Megan do? Have students trade problems with a classmate, then “move” the answer to the problem. Jump the Creek – Measure to see how far students can leap past a line. This data can then be used for graphing. Dialogue - Students work with partners to write a dialogue based on a given prompt (in class lately I’ve been using the following: You and your partner and brother and sister. You come home after school and find that there is only one cookie in the cookie jar. What do you do?). Once written, the can practice acting it out, then perform it for the class. Act out a Story- Older students are actually very skilled at acting out a given story. It can be a fairy tale or a short picture book. Simply split the class into groups and assign each group their own story. Give them a time limit in which to practice (you’d be amazed at what they can do in 15 minutes!) and then have them perform for each other. If this needs to be a longer activity they can create flow maps showing their plot line as a planning activity prior to rehearsing. Some students have even embraced script writing. Alphabet Dances – Younger students can spell various words with their bodies. They simply need to figure out a way to make the shape of each letter with their bodies. First graders are already used to this concept, as we do Name Dances in Dance/Drama at the beginning of the year.