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Getting the Wiggles Out – 3 Movement Activities You Can’t Live Without

Photo by gitsul (flickr.com)

As we move into the holiday season, students seem to have more wiggles than at almost any other time of year. Instead of lamenting the fact that your students cannot sit still for more than five minutes, embrace their energy and try one of the five activities below. Your students will be engaged, their energy will be expended and by the time the final bell rings you will still have your sanity.

1. Math Jump Ups

For this activity, students will need to stand behind their pushed in chairs and get ready to jump up. If your class is especially excitable, you may want to move this activity to the gymnasium or outside on the playground. The idea of the game is to reinforce basic math facts and get your students moving. You call out a math problem based on the operations that your class is studying, such as “3 x 4″, and students jump up and down counting out the answer. For the sample problem, students would jump up and down, counting out loud to 12. It is a simple game, but students love being able to jump and it is a great way to reinforce basic facts.

2. Literary Charades

Take that story that you are studying as a class and turn it into a game of charades. Have students act out different events, lessons, and characters in the story. If you have a very large class, divide students into small groups and create cards that tell them what to act out. Smaller groups will allow them all to have a chance to act out something and get their wiggles out in the process.

3. Movement Sequencing

Practice sequencing by using movements to help reinforce the skill. Using a series of actions and movements, students learn the sequence of events. For example, have them create a pattern using the following actions: clap, clap, foot stomp, foot stomp, clap, clap, arm wiggle, arm wiggle. Have them continue the pattern by paying careful attention to the sequence of the movements. You can also leave out a motion and ask them to fill in what is missing. They will be paying careful attention to the movements and burning energy at the same time.

Other movement activities can include turning on music and letting students dance or play music freeze where they must stop as soon as the music stops playing. What are some of your favorite ways to take the wiggles during the holiday season? Leave a comment below and share your ideas with us. We would love to know what works for you!


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9 comments
Marlene
Marlene

WOW! Love the many new ideas to add to transition times. Especially useful now that the winter leaves us inside for recess!

DeShawn
DeShawn

I'm always looking for new ideas to get my kids moving. Even though they don't seem to tire of the same ones, I do! Thanks for sharing!

Dianne R. Waycaster
Dianne R. Waycaster

When teaching kindergarten students to spell their sight words (or word family words), we use the "clap and snap" method. We clap as we say the consonants, and snap fingers for each vowel in the word. If we're working in small group, and don't want to disturb others in the area, we lightly tap the table for consonants and touch our chin for the vowels. This is a method that my students carry with them and continue to use for several years. Many of my former students tell me that's how they master spelling and/or vocabulary words. They practice that way at home, and at test time, this "tool" enables them to achieve higher grades. Some of their teachers are so impressed with their results, that they've begun teaching the same way.

Sarah C
Sarah C

These are awesome! Kids definitely need to be up and moving during the school day. They can't learn if they are sitting in a desk for the entire school day. I will have to take some of these ideas back to the classroom and try them out!

Claire M.
Claire M.

I do an activity with my kiddos that can be used with numerous subjects at numerous grade levels. It's called the "line dance". Students get into two lines, and face in toward a partner. One line is the "questioners", one line gives the answers. I use this with spelling words....I have the kids drill each for afew seconds. Once they have drilled for a bit, I put on some dance music, and a student from each line "dances" down the line. They student who dances in each line are at opposite ends, so they will pass each other while dancing down the line...this way the kiddos will have new partners for the next turn. Once they are inf ront of their new partner, I have them high five their new partner (to make sure they know who they are with). Then I stop the music and we start all over. The kids love it!

Amy C
Amy C

I do an activity with my students similar to math jump ups with their spelling words. As a quick transition or time-filler before lunch, the students stand and spell out a given word by me. The students must squat for vowels and jump for consonants. It is a perfect send-off for the end of the day or recess!

Teri
Teri

There is a song called "My Thumbs are starting to wiggle..." We sing/chant "My thumbs are starting to wiggle, my thumbs are starting to wiggle, my thumbs are starting to wiggle around and around and around." You continue with different body parts suggested by kids. Our favorite is "My tongue is starting to wiggle..."

Tina
Tina

I use the song "I Can't Sit Still" by Mr. AL on his Dance Like This c.d. The kids love it! At the beginning of the song the students have to sit still while everyone in the song tells them to sit still: "My Momma says, please sit still. My Daddy says, please sit still.....But I try, and I try, and I try....But I can't sit still..." They have to sit still in the song whenever someone in the song tells them to "Please sit still." When he says, "But I can't sit still" they can move, bounce, dance and shake all of their wiggles out! Works like a charm. I start EVERY circle time with some sort of movement song to help them work their wiggles out.

Tracy
Tracy

I use a movement game when teaching my second graders about ending punctuation in sentences. The children stand behind their desks, chairs pushed in. I will read a sentence aloud, the students decide if the sentence should end with a period, a question mark, or an exclamation point. If a period is required, they make a fist with one hand and smack it into their other hand. If a question mark is required, they put their hands on their hips and wiggle to the floor and back up. If an exclamation point is required, they jump straight up with their arms down by their sides. The kids love it and beg to play!