If you look at old pictures of classrooms, students are seated in rows of desks and attentively listening to the teacher. That’s no longer an effective way of teaching! (Was it ever?) It’s so important to integrate movement into learning. Movement helps keep your students engaged in what they are learning whether they are studying math, science, or language arts! Movement in the classroom is not reserved for physical education. Check out these ways to get students moving (and grooving) in your classroom!
Dance Party Math
One of my favorite ways to get moving and grooving with students is to use math dance party mats! Here’s how it works. You’ll print out dance party sheets and put them in a plastic sleeve or laminate the sheets. Put the sheets in a circle and have each student go to a sheet. Start some music, and begin the game! Students will dance around the mat until you stop the music. When the music stops, with a dry erase marker, the student will write a math problem on the sheet. Once the music starts again, the students will move to the next mat and start dancing! When the music stops again, the student will solve the problem on the mat they are at until the music starts. They’ll then erase their problem (after you do a quick check), and repeat the process at the next mat.
In the example below, I called out three numbers. They had to write the numbers and add them on their mat.
Dance Party Mats are perfect for every second grade math skill! Try ten-frame, addition and subtraction, ten more/ten less, place value, 2D & 3D, time, counting coins, and fraction mats.
I can’t believe how much learning is going on with math dance party mats! Students are forming their own equations, problem solving, and working together. They don’t even realize how much they are reviewing their math skills when you involve music and movement.
If you’d like to try Dance Party Math Mats in your classroom, you can grab these FREE addition and subtraction mats in my TPT store!
Early elementary students love taking brain breaks with GoNoodle! GoNoodle is a website with interactive videos that help students get moving with choreographed dancing, exercises, and even trivia games. Some student favorites include “How to Hit the Woah” guided dance, “Boom Chicka Boom”, and “Count to 100” workout. Sign up for your free educator GoNoodle account and check out these and other fun activities to get your students moving!
Silly, fun games like “Duck, Duck, Goose” and “Red Rover” (outside is best for that one) shouldn’t be overlooked. Although these games may seem trivial, they are ways to build community and let your kids get much needed brain breaks and move around the classroom. Even simple games like paper-rock-scissors provide for easy, fun brain breaks to get your kids up and moving. Pre-teach your kids how to come back together and calm down after these fun games that involve movement.
Four corners is a great review game that is multiple concepts. This game can be used for math facts, vowel sounds, and more. In this example, they’ll be reviewing L blends (gl, bl, fl, and sl). Write the four blends onto a sheet of paper and place each one in a corner of the room. Write various words using those blends onto strips of paper and place then into a jar, cup, or bag. Students will come up one at a time and draw a word. After they read their word out loud, they need to identify the blend in the word by going to stand in that corner of the room. The game repeats as time allows.
Word Speed is a quick game that we play daily throughout the week. This game can be used across all subject areas. All you need is some chart paper and makers.
After dividing your class up into teams, your students will love to race to see which team can come up with the most words! You can read all about how to play Word Speed in this blog post about 4 Games to Increase Vocabulary Success.
Your students need more than just old school “sage on the stage” teaching. It’s time to get them moving, grooving, and learning! Try some videos, games, and math activities to have them actively engaged in what they’re learning. Enjoy these ways to integrate movement into learning!