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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  1. Love the tic tac toe idea! I look forward to trying it. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks! It was an old "trick of the trade" I learned from my Dad. :)

  2. I love how simple these games are, but they seem like so much fun. I will definitely try the file folder one--thanks so much for sharing!

  3. I love these ideas - so simple and yet very engaging. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Deal or No Deal sounds like so much fun. Thanks for sharing your ideas!

  5. Excellent ideas! I'm going to try Slide tomorrow, and I think it will be great! Thank you for sharing games that incorporate movement in middle school classrooms!

  6. I love these ideas! Slide sounds like so much fun!

  7. Thanks for the tips! I use a similar activity that is an adapted version of "Speed Dating." I have the kids face each other and work on a set of questions from a worksheet with their "date." Then I call time and they slide in opposite directions to face a new partner to answer the next set of questions. Every few turns, I do a check to make sure everyone is where they should be and hasn't gotten left behind or stuck on a question. I teach High School Biology....just bigger middle schoolers!


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