I started with a learning target and success criteria for the 30-minute session. Our school district is in the second year of a formative assessment initiative that uses this language, so I decided to model it for teachers as many of them are not yet involved in the cohorts who are receiving the formative assessment training.
- Learning Target: I can incorporate purposeful student movement into my lessons.
- Success Criteria: I can identify research that supports using movement. I can list at least two strategies I plan to use.
Once we'd taken a look at the learning target and success criteria, I started with an activity called "star pass review." Participants stand in groups of 5 and toss a ball in a star pattern. If that's hard to visualize, imagine you're drawing a five-pointed star. The ball passes in that same order. It's a variation on hot potato, so when the music stops, the person holding the ball answers the question to their team. Others can chime in afterwards or can help the person if they're stuck on what to say. Teachers answered a few questions to activate their prior knowledge about using movement and draw on their experiences.
- Do you feel that it is important to use movement in a classroom setting? Why or why not?
- How often do you think that students should engage in movement activities during your class?
- Why might teachers refrain from using movement?
I was able to segue from the comments about why we might not use movement into an article reading from Eric Jensen, "Moving with the Brain in Mind." Everyone had 7 minutes to read (9 would have been ideal, but I was trying to cram a ton into my time) and then we had a discussion. I used Mix and Mingle (which is what I call the Kagan "Stand Up Hand Up Pair Up" structure ) for the discussion. While music plays, participants mingle around the room with their hand up poised to give a high 5. when the music stops, they high 5 the nearest person and discuss the question at hand. We had these questions:
- Why is movement important?
- Are we currently doing things that help? What are they? (It turns out this question was poorly worded because nearly every group had a question about what it meant. I'd change it to, "What things are we individually or as a school or as a district doing to support purposeful movement?")
- What changes are within our control to make in our classrooms?
If you teach secondary math and you're ever on Pinterest, I can almost guarantee you've seen this picture.
We used the poorly named "hook up" which I've renamed "human pretzel" as a calm-down activity following our giggling.
I wrapped up the day with two exit questions answered in an inside-outside circle. (Participants form two concentric circles facing each other. Everyone discusses with the person they're facing. Then the leader directs everyone in, say, the outer circle to rotate two people clockwise. With the new partner, they discuss the next topic or question.) We answered the following:
- What new insight did you gain today?
- Give an example of how you plan to use movement in your classroom before Thanksgiving break.
Do you find ways to incorporate purposeful movement into your classroom? What are your favorites?