It’s happened to everyone. You know that moment when you look out into the sea of faces, and you see it! The look on their faces that tells you they’ve had enough! The fidgeting in their seats, the talking, the general restlessness! And you still have an hour of class to go! What to do, what to do?
Get ’em up! Get ’em moving! That’s right, get them out of their seats and moving around! How, you say? Any way you can, from simple stretches to short, active games! Movement awakens the brain, the body, the spirit. There are many resources with suggestions for physical activity in the class. The one that follows has activities that are explained very clearly, with illustrations and videos. Yes, it’s geared towards younger students, but many of the activities could be used, or adapted for use, in our adult classes. And, if nothing else, it might inspire you to try something new!
I’ve seen it with my own eyes. Once they start moving, their energy increases and their moods lift!
Want to learn ideas about quick, short (1-5 minute) classroom activites, then just click on these links and download the Take a Break Teacher Toolbox. The Toolbox is filled with activities. Let me know what you think.
Here are a few suggestions from the Toolbox:
- Stand up for: Read a short story. Identify a specific word for the students to listen for. Every time you say this word students must stand up, then sit back down.
- What’s my job? Write these occupations on the board: firefighter, doctor, chef, basketball player, soccer player, dancer. Student must act out all the jobs, while others guess the job. A more physical form of charades.
- Brain teasers: Games and puzzles that incorporate physical movement
- Walking breaks: take 2-5 minutes in class for a walking break.
- Walk and Talk: put students in small groups. Assign discussion question. Students walk while they complete the activity.
- Roll Some Brain Breaks: A board game using dice. Each square on the board has a different activity.
And for those of you who like to dig deep into all the details, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has funded a study about the impact of classroom activity on children. Again, not exactly our student population, but it makes one wonder how much of this information IS relevant for them.