Friday, August 7, 2009

Teacher Swap!

Jen over at Following the Footsteps had the great idea of hosting a Back to School Teacher Swap. Jen is the kind of teacher I would have liked to have. She does a fantastic job and is always coming up with something new! Anyway, if you are a teacher, head over to her blog
to get some fantastic teaching ideas.

I think the ideas I am going to share are about keeping your students active. Please keep in mind that I teach third and fourth grade. These ideas may need to be adjusted to fit your classroom. Especially in the first few weeks of school, students are trying to get back into the routine of things. Over the summer, they ran, played, went on vacation, and probably didn't stop for more than two minutes at a time. Coming back to school is a tremendous change for them, and the more that we teachers can help with that transition, the more smoothly our classrooms will operate.
Do not be one of those teachers who has the students sit at their desks all day. Students should stand and move to get their minds back on track. Here are some ways that incorporate a little bit of "wiggle" time into my day. (The older students get, the less they need. However, even adults focus better when they can move around after sitting for a long time.) The more actively students participate, the more they will learn.

Idea #1
Incorporate movement and action into each class. In Bible class we sing action songs. In Language, we come to the board, do sit down-stand up reviews. In Spelling we act out the words as we spell them, we use cowboy voices and use our hands to "lasso." We write in the air with our fingers in Writing class. In Math we do a lot of board work. In science we take quick walks outside. In History, I'll have the students act out the day's lesson.

Idea #2
Some days, there isn't so much time for added stuff within your lessons. On those days, take thirty seconds to have your students move during a transition time.

One thing I like to do is have them say this little poem and do the actions.

I'm alive, (hands on head) awake, (hands on shoulders), alert (hands on knees), enthusiastic (clap with each syllable). Repeat 2 times.
I'm alive(head), awake(shoulders), alert(knees), alert(knees),awake(shoulders), alive(head).
I'm alive, (hands on head) awake, (hands on shoulders), alert (hands on knees), enthusiastic (clap with each syllable).
We see how fast we can get as we continue to learn it. This is something that my classroom is famous for. When grandparents come on grandparents day, we teach them how to do it. In assemblies, sometimes we'll be called on to show the other classes how to do this. It's lots of fun, and it is ACTIVE. If you have trouble getting your kids to wind down, have them repeat this like their grandparents would say it at the very end before they sit down.

Another thing I do is have the students stand next to their desks, and then I tell them "Jump to face the ______________(clock, windows, books, etc.)" In one jump, they have to be facing that direction. We do this about 5-10 times, and then they sit down.

The last idea I'd like to share is a game called 'Stand Like a ____________" I'll tell the kids, "Stand like a frog. Stand like a king. Stand like a giraffe. Stand like a soldier, etc." Just standing there and changing their posture gets them moving so that they can focus better when they sit back down.

So, what do you do to keep your kids active in your classroom? I'd love to hear tips, hints, and ideas!

I am also posting this as part of Amy's Round Robin. Click the button and stop by her blog to check it out!


  1. What a great idea to keep the children active. I wanted to say Thank you for stopping by and sharing this in my Round Robin. Have a great day...

  2. Bethany I totally agree in the importance of keeping students active! I LOVE that poem and will totally implement it into whatever I teach next year! Even if I am an AP I plan on using it!!

    I learned at one of my GT trainings that it's been researched that movement is better for the brain. Especially if students cross their hands and or feet in someway, it helps stimulate the brain!!

    I would also have my students write in the air! So fun!! Thanks for sharing and participating!! I love your ideas!!

  3. Ahaha! Oh my, we used to sing that song back in elementary. And yeah, with the action too! :D
    My teacher would ask all of us to stand and sing the song with the action whenever she notices that we are lacking interest with her lessons. And whenever she sees someone sleeping! :D

  4. Yes the importance of keeping kids moving is under used. Love the post! Thanks for sharing.

  5. Thanks for stopping by and playing along with my Round Robin today. I hope you enjoy your time at the Round Robin.. Have a great Valentine's Day..


Hi everyone! I am so glad that you dropped by. So, tell me, what did you think of this post?

Search This Blog

Swidget 1.0


Blog Widget by LinkWithin

© Bethany Morford

Blog design, thoughts, pictures, and viewpoints are my own. Do not reproduce in any form without permission.