Top 3 Tips For Movement in the Middle School Classroom

Middle School Activities and Ideas for Movement in the Classroom.  #teaching #tips #tools

We all know that obesity in children is on the rise.  (Fortnite, anyone?)  So, we know the students need more movement  - but in Middle School?  Where the students are already all over the place?  Are you kidding me?

That's what I thought when I first heard this was the subject of our professional development after a long day in class.  

Then the presenter started showing us some games - but not just gallery walks, brain breaks or other simple exercises - actual ways to incorporate games and movement as part of the lessons.

Some of the ideas were not new - they were "old" cooperative learning tactics but renewed with movement.  Soon I started to think about how I could adapt my favorite learning techniques and add in movement.

Do you want to incorporate more movement into your Middle School classroom?  Try "Slide"!  #teaching #tips #activities

The first game I came up with is something I call "Slide".

Two rows of students face each other.  One row has the questions on index cards with answers.  The other row has to answer the questions.  As a pair faces one another, if a student answers correctly, they switch places.  Soon, the teacher calls "Slide!" and the answer people move one space to the right to face a new partner with a new question.

I keep calling "Slide" until I believe that all questions and answers have been revealed enough times.

It's fun and can be used with any topic.  It can be used with task cards or with questions & answers that you put on index cards.  

Get your Middle School students up and moving with this school version of "Deal or No Deal"!  #teaching #tips #activities #movementintheclassroom

You could use the same task cards/index cards to play a version of "Deal or No Deal" by placing the cards inside numbered file folders.  The first student up has to choose a number and when the contents of that numbered folder are revealed, they must answer the question correctly to get the folder and have another turn.  Otherwise, that file holder is allowed to move to the front of the room.

Here's a game that can be adapted to ANY subject area that will also increase the movement in your Middle School classroom! #teaching #tips #activities

The last game I have is "Tic-Tac-Toe".  Super quick prep using nothing more than those task cards/index cards and your whiteboard:

1.  Divide the class into two teams.  One is the “x” team and one is the “o” team.
2.  Draw a tic-tac-toe board on the whiteboard.
3.  Ask a question to the first member of the “x” team. If he/she is correct, then he/she places the x on the board!  If he/she is incorrect, he/she simply lose the chance to place the “x” on the board.
4.  Now repeat #3 with the “o” team. 

5.  Continue with each member of each team until you have a winner with 3 in a row!  You might even give bonus points as a prize!

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Middle School Reading Test Prep

Review SEVEN reading anchor standards with your middle school students using a friendly competition!  #testprep #teaching

It's that time of year again!  
Time to review for the Big State Test in Reading.

So I polled my students to see what they thought were the best kinds of review.  It probably comes as no surprise to you that my middle school students said "competition"!

So I put on my thinking cap to figure out what I could do to make a fun and productive review.  Then I had it - The Reading Ruckus!

It will work like this:

1.  I will intentionally group students into teams of 4.

2.  They will choose a team name.

3.  Each day we will have a short mini-lesson on a few standards.  I will show a PowerPoint with definitions and examples and students will record the information in a mini-book.

Help your middle school students review SEVEN reading anchor standards before the big state test!  #testprep #teaching

4.  Then students will each have to answer practice questions on the mini-lesson in their groups.

5.  I will draw a number.  The student in each group who has that number on his/her desk will answer for the group by writing their answer on a white board.  The groups with the right answers earn a point.  I will keep a tally of each team's points front and center!

Find out how to create friendly competition in your middle school class to review SEVEN reading standards!  #testprep #teaching

6.  After all the standards have been reviewed, the group with the most points wins!  What will they win?  Well, my students wanted a popcorn snack and I was happy to oblige!

7.  For individual accountability, there will be exit tickets.  Those who score proficiently will earn their team bonus points.

We only have a week to do this, so it's "Go time!"  I know the kids will love competing against each other and hopefully, this will make enough of an impression on them to commit the skills to memory just before the big test!

If you'd like to give this a try, I have a PowerPoint, mini-book, passages and questions prepared for SEVEN reading anchor standards for fiction & nonfiction.  All the prep work is done and everything is ready to go!

You can get just the PowerPoint and Mini-book here:

Or you can get just the passages with questions here:

Or if you want all of these items (The PowerPoint, mini-book, passages and questions), get the bundle here:

Get more ideas and resources!  Join the Teacher Troop Today!

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Nonfiction Made Easy!

I recently had the pleasure of talking with Danielle from Study All Knight Resources about one the best digital tools for nonfiction - NewsELA!

The main thing I love about it is that you can select your grade and the standards you want your students to work with and NewsELA will show you articles from all kinds of subject areas with online quizzes to match!

Want to learn more?  Watch the video below:

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