Spring Rejuvenation

No matter what the weather is like where you are, it can be challenging for both students and teachers to maintain enthusiasm at this point in the school year. The beginning-of-school energy is long gone, summer is not yet in sight, and some classrooms have been working hard without a break since January. Sounds like it’s time for some spring rejuvenation!
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Peanut Butter, Grape Jelly

As seen in The First Six Weeks of School, 2nd Edition! Students get a kick out of this song.
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A Teacher Shares

Get Moving! It’s 1:30 in the afternoon, and our class is preparing for language arts block. Recess and lunch seem like hours ago, and we still have an entire content area to…
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Adapting Morning Meeting Greeting for ELL Students

Responsive Classroom Morning Meeting is a powerful way to create a classroom climate of respectful, engaged learning and the greeting component sets the tone by helping all students feel noticed and appreciated…
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Leading Group Games at Recess

“What’s the group game today?” That’s the question I keep hearing from my students as we walk out to recess. It’s Mrs. VanDyke’s day to lead the group game, and several students…
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Keep Your Class Moving!

It's 1:30 in the afternoon, and our class is preparing for language arts block. Recess and lunch seem like hours ago, and we still have an entire content area left to teach.…
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Keeping Sharing Fresh

In my conversations with teachers I hear a common concern about Morning Meeting at this time of year—how to move forward with sharing. Teachers have long lists of varied ideas for greeting…
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How Well Do Your Students Know Each Other?

Great teachers work on building a sense of community in their classrooms all year long. They understand that helping students build relationships with each other is a key to creating an optimal…
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Challenges Are Fun!

Recently I've been thinking about how enthusiastically the students in my class take on challenges, and how challenging them has helped us build a more positive community and made learning more fun…
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Who Needs Extra Movement Breaks?

Scanning around our Morning Meeting circle, I noticed that students' eyes were riveted on the sharer—all except for Justin, a child with a high need for sensory input and physical movement. Justin…
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Finding Time before Dismissal

"How do I make the time for a Closing Circle at the end of the school day?" That is definitely the question I hear most from people who want to start using…
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Closing Circle Idea: Maître d’

Closing Circle is a positive, structured way to bring closure to the school day. It takes just a few minutes and is a time for students to reflect and celebrate what they…
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Closing Circle Idea: Good-bye Cadence

The end of the school day can be a hectic time in the classroom. With children heading out in different directions, it’s common for teachers to feel overwhelmed and frustrated as the…
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Fish Gobbler

“Little fish, little fish, swim out to sea,” I shout from the center of the field to the mass of students poised at one end line. From the center line, I watch…
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Spring Is a Verb!

We should all take a cue from this season's name: spring up from our seats and get moving! Take a break outside or just stand up and do a quick energizer—it will…
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“Go Play!”

Our parents were right: Going out to play is good for children’s minds and bodies. But many children no longer spend much time playing outside. On the home front, they’re often engaged…
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Fostering Reflective Thinking

Reflection is a crucial part of learning. Taking time to think about how things are going helps people keep track of their progress, and, if needed, make adjustments and improvements. Teachers can…
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What are some quick, fun class celebrations?

Here are two of their ideas:Give This Group a HandStudents stand in a circle and chant:We’re gonna give . . . this . . . group a hand. We’re gonna give this…
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Closing Circle

A productive, purposeful hum fills Ms. Vincent's fourth grade classroom as the school day draws to a close and students complete their end-of-day jobs. Ten minutes before dismissal, when everyone is packed…
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Make Learning a Moving Experience

So you want to reduce the amount of time that your students are required to sit and to give them more chances to move. Could you build more movement into your lessons?Here's…
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Move Around the Room

What are strategies for helping students be more physically active during the day, and how do we keep control of the group if they're sitting less and moving more?
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Energizers! Energizing with the Dinosaurs

This clapping chant is fun for K–3 students anytime, but especially when they’re studying dinosaurs! Called “Dino Dinner Chant,” it’s from Energizers! 88 Quick Movement Activities That Refresh and Refocus, by Susan…
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Energizers! Spelling Stroll

Energizers are usually more about giving children quick movement and breathing breaks than they are about academics. Still, it’s possible to work in a little academic practice, as long as the focus…
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Energizers! A follow-the-leader activity for all ages

Children of all ages enjoy "Dum Dum Dah Dah." In this quick movement break,  a leader establishes a pattern and the group chants or sings the words as they echo the leader's…
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An Energizer with an Academic Twist

“Interruptions” gets students up and shaking out the cobwebs—while enhancing their listening and literacy skills in a fun way! It’s especially good with K–3 students, but older children may also enjoy it.…
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Energizers! Double This Double That

Many of us are longing for spring, but it’s still February! It’s a great time to perk up your class with quick energizers sprinkled throughout the day. Here’s one called "Double This…
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Energizers! Tips for Using Energizers

Last week, I encouraged you to work energizers—quick breaks that get children moving, breathing, and having fun together—into your classroom day. Energizers are great ways to get children refreshed and refocused on…
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