I hope you enjoy the final hours of 2014!
A Cure for the Fidgity!
By Tammy DeShaw, The Owl Teacher
Alright, maybe it's not a cure. But it's an idea that will help.
I don’t know about you, but I have a very fidgety person in my classroom. You know, that one person who has to be constantly moving, touching everything, and their mind is racing a million miles a minute. Sometimes that person will just really drive the students nuts! While I may be a bit hyperactive (especially if I’ve had caffeine!), it does help me relate to my kiddos a bit more.
It sure seems that each year we have just a few more kids that are wound up and bouncing off the walls. All our teacher training tells us that we should get these students up and moving around more to help them. Our activities should be short and frequently change to help with their short attention spans. (And mine, too!)
A while back, while using a set of Idiom “I have… Who Has…” cards, I was watching the class go through the cards and realized just how little movement the activity brought. Stand up, read your card, sit down. Yawn. I loved that it required students to pay attention and listen. All cute little ones could use good listening skills (including my own teens at home. Did I just say that? Whoops!). While I loved those cards, it needed to be “jazzed” up a bit. So that’s when my wheels started moving (remember, they are always racing…). I decided I needed to add some action. That’s when I started creating causation cards.
Just like the “I have, Who Has” cards, students would still have to listen carefully to their peers to know if it is time to read their card. The cards would still review important vocabulary and concepts, but what is different is that each card requires some sort of action. The action could be something simple, such as going to the board and writing on it to jumping in the air.
For instance, take this card below. The part in green, “prices go up!” is the part a student is listening for. The part in regular font is what that student would stand up and say, and finally, the part in italics is the action the student does. In this case, the student would march around the room singing, “Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho, off to work I go!” The action is related to whatever concept the student stated.
The reason I like this activity is because we tend to remember things that we place motion to. Think about all the brain research. Not only that, but it is engaging and academic! It also provides opportunities for students to burn up a little bit of that energy all while practicing fluency and listening skills.
I like to use these cards at the end of a unit to review important concepts, but it could also be used at the beginning of a unit as an introduction. My kiddos have always loved these cards and love the challenge of seeing if they can beat their time of reading through them.
If you would like to check these cards out, you can download the economic cards here for free.
Enter the giveaway for a chance to shop at my store, where I have additional sets of causation cards and more!
A special thanks to Deb Hanson for giving me this guest blogging opportunity!
Tammy DeShaw is currently a third grade teacher, but has 9 years experience teaching grades 3-6. She has a Bachelor's in Science, Elementary Education Certification, and is 3 credits away from finishing her Masters in Differentiation. You can follow her blog, The Owl Teacher, for ideas, lessons, and other valuable resources.