Monday, December 29, 2014

Get 'Em Moving

My first year teaching kindergarten I had an energetic group of kiddos. I quickly learned that one of the best ways to keep them engaged and learning was to get 'em moving. All kids need to move. It's who they are, it's how they learn, and it's healthy for their bodies and brains. (It's important for me to keep this in mind during this cold part of the year, when my students don't get as much time to release their energy by playing outside.)

Here are a few fun ways I incorporate movement into...

 Calendar Time

Days of the Month Song
We divide into boys/girls and alternate standing up to sing each month...
                            Girls: "January"
                            Boys: "February"
                            Girls: "March"......
                            All: "12 months in a year!

100's Chart
Counting by:
10's: We jump up and down for each 10, holding up 10 fingers in  front of us. When we get to 100, we give our biggest jump with our 10 fingers above our heads.

5's: We either do "jazz" hands while sliding from side to side OR we do jumping jacks.

2's: We pretend that we are T-rex dinosaurs (squeeze your elbows to your sides and hold out both hands showing 2 fingers) and stomp like a T-rex.

Days of School
My kids love singing this song! The original song was for the 100th day of school, but I modified it so we could sing it more than just one day of the year. I will sometimes pick a leader and they will lead the class in marching in a line around the room. When I sit back down in my chair by the easel, they know it's time to march back to the rug and find a seat.

We've Been Counting
(to the tune of "The Ants Go Marching One By One")
We've all been counting one-by-one,
Hurrah! Hurrah!
We've all been counting, oh what fun,
Hurray! Hurrah!
We've all been counting one-by-one,
And now __(# of days)__days are done,
(When you sing "done" -  freeze! Everyone has to freeze like a statue and stop singing until you begin again.)
Today's the __(77th...)__ day of school!
Of school, hurrah!
Boom, boom, boom.

Get 'Em Moving: Phonics

Karate Words
Give your students a CVC word. They do a single hand "karate chop" in front of them for each sound or letter in the word (alternating hands).

End by saying the word while striking a "kung fu panda" stance.

(Word of Wisdom: Give the "We are karate chopping the air, not the friend next to us..." safety speech before doing this activity.)

Body Sound Breakdown
Use your body to sound out each CVC word! (Example: "CAT")
"C" (hands on your head), "A" (hands on your tummy), "T" (touch your toes).... "CAT" (say the word while jumping up to stand tall).

Sock Hop
My students love seeing how fast they can spell the CVC word I give them. They spell the words by hopping on the letters using this felt mat I sewed.

You could easily take a big piece of fabric and draw the letters on it with a permanent marker.
I'll share some of my favorite movement ideas for math in another post. I'd love to hear how you get your students moving and learning!

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