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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Active, Engaging Test Prep: The Walking Quiz

In my previous post, I talked about the importance of incorporating movement into classroom work and gave an example of one way to do that with an editing activity. In this post,…
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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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What to Do When Greetings Get Silly

Do you often wonder how to keep the sense of comfortable routine while also varying Morning Meetings enough to keep students (and adults) interested and engaged? Greetings can be especially important because…
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Keeping Morning Meeting Greetings Fresh and Fun

After doing many Morning Meetings, teachers often wonder how to keep the sense of comfortable routine while also varying the meetings enough to keep students (and adults) interested and engaged. Greetings can…
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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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Movement Breaks to the Rescue!

While giving the January spelling assessment, I paused to look around the classroom and here's what I saw: Sara was yawning. Ben held his head in his hands. Julie's head was down…
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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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Group Activity Idea: Lost Tooth Poem

Here’s a Morning Meeting activity idea from 80 Morning Meeting Ideas for Grades K–2, by Susan Lattanzi Roser: Lost Tooth Poem Children will relate to this poem about a missing tooth! My…
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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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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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A Comfortable Way to Work

I remember one third grader who really struggled with sitting still. If I’d required him to sit while he worked, it would have been really hard for him to get anything done.…
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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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Lecture Less

So we know students need to sit still to accomplish some school tasks, but we don't want to keep them sitting for too long. How can we minimize the amount of time…
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Sitting Too Much?

“My students have such a hard time sitting still! They call out all the time! They’re constantly out of their seats!” After hearing this refrain over and over again from teachers, I…
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Classroom Tension Tamers: Three More Ideas to Use Now!

I wrote last week about things you can do to ease classroom stress during testing and other high-anxiety times. Here are three more tips for keeping the atmosphere of your classroom calm…
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Classroom Tension Tamers: Three Ideas to Use Now

It’s spring, and end-of-the-year-testing looms. The children are stressed.You’re stressed. You need to ease the tension—but how?
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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! 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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