Teachers can be understandably fearful of letting students move around the classroom without a purpose. However, classroom movement can be a great way to break up the routine. It also has been proven to help the brain retain more information. Here are some ideas for incorporating movement in your lessons.
This strategy is great for formative assessment. After giving a lesson, have students get up and place themselves in a line that corresponds to their understanding of the material. One wall can be “completely understood” while the other can be “completely lost.” Of course, most will be somewhere in between, but it will give you a broad idea whether you need to spend more time on the topic.
Think/Pair/Share (TPS) has long been a great active learning tool that helps students discuss their ideas about the topics that come up during a lesson. It’s normally done with a table partner. To add some classroom movement, play some music for about 30 seconds while students get up and find a new TPS partner. Do this each time new opportunity comes up.
Writing doesn’t have to be a solitary activity. In this activity, each student starts a story or essay with one sentence, then gets up and passes their page to another student. That student adds a sentence that works off the first one. The pattern continues until everyone has contributed to everyone else’s work.
Centers have long been the domain of elementary teachers, but they get forgotten about in secondary schools. In a particularly challenging course of study, organize centers around the room that mimic departments in college. Students go around gathering the knowledge they need for the end result. This works particularly well in the project-based classroom.