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How to Use MOVEMENT AND ACTIVITY SONGS TO KEEP KIDS ENGAGED

Restless kids means less learning- right?
I recommend movement breaks and activities.
You may think…”she’s crazy! It just winds them up more!”
I think that it depends on how you use the activity. If you just do the activity and then expect kids to get right back to work–then yes, you’ll be frustrated.
What are some things you can do?
So I hope you’ll keep reading to get some ideas on movement and activity songs to keep your kids engaged.

CLEAR EXPECTATIONS

I think it’s important to set the situation up-just like you’d prep them for a test, or to go on a field trip.

I find that if I’m honest with the students, then they know I mean what I say.

If I’m clear in my directions and consequences, then I have a higher chance of success.

Do they get to sit apart from the class? Do they lose points? Do they have to write an apology?  

What are some methods you might use to let the kids know that this is “fun”, but it has to be FAIR for everyone?

I know my students respect me when I say, “This is the kind of activity where I won’t be giving any warnings. Here are the rules and if you can’t keep them, then you’ll not only lose your ‘shaker’, you’ll also have to miss out on the activity and more.”

I do believe that you have to mean what you say.

Here’s a simple song I use to help students keep hands, feet and words to themselves.

Clear expectations and action songs is one way to keep kids engaged.

MODEL ACTIONS

Before beginning an activity, it’s important to model the expectations.

If you want students to stay in a square or circle space, have them draw a line around them.

You could have them pretend to build a wall around them, or draw lines in the air to mark their space.

I’ve used “bubble space” for many years.

We blow out a big bubble with some imaginary bubblegum that fills our personal space.

We don’t want anyone to pop it, so we stay in our “bubble”. IT WORKS!

You can model the actions quickly before beginning.

If you haven’t had time to really learn them- THAT’S OKAY! Just pause the video as you learn the actions.

Then, on the second time- allow students to do the actions without your help.

Finally, you can have other students model the actions when you do it the next day or time.

Empower your students to follow your model! Modeling and having student models in another way to keep kids engaged.

If you’re using a video, you can always scroll through the video and pause on the actions- have the students copy, then do the activity.

This ANIMALS MOVE AND FREEZE activity is a great example of how that would work well.

FREE Classroom Management Directions, Hand Signals Posters & Puppets

ORGANIZE MATERIALS

Easy to say- and sometimes hard to do! BUT- get the materials out ahead of time so that your students can manage the materials.

You can appoint a table leader, a row leader, a group leader to get the stuff to pass out.

You don’t have to do it all!

Empower your students to be helpers and be a part of the classroom team!

While students are handing out the materials, you can get the music, video or other props ready that you may need to do alone.

And, you can assist students who may need help.

Being prepared for these activities is another way to keep the pace moving along and thereby keep kids engaged.

You may only need to help students define their personal space, or make sure the room is clear.

You may want to use a video movement activity to give you time to prepare the next activity too!

This Dinosaur Freeze Dance is perfect for the preschool and kindergarten classroom.

MANAGE STUDENTS DURING THE ACTIVITY

Which brings me to managing students during a movement activity.

It’s super important to be available to students who are struggling during the activity. That’s why empowering leaders in your classroom can help you be a better teacher.

You may need to assist a child who is physically, emotionally, or mentally unable to keep up with the class and needs a helping hand.

Or, you can pair up students to help each other too.

Empower your students to help make the class go smoothly!

If you are building relationships with your students and helping them-you are keeping kids engaged.

FREE TEACHER POSTER

Using videos also gives you the teacher the ability to walk around the room and manage students.

This ANIMALS ABC’S video is a great TRANSITION or WARM UP activity for MORNING MEETINGS and in between your regular activities.

REWARDS AND POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS

And most importantly-compliment the students who are following directions.

Notice the ones who are being FAIR, KIND and having FUN.

Complimenting students can let the rest of the class know what you’re looking for. It also makes kids smile.

I personally used a lot of stickers for rewards. I would put them on the students hand.

They would line up and make a fist-holding it out for me. I’d put a sticker on the students who were the helpers.

Try to spread out the positivity to everyone throughout the day.

FREE REWARD TICKETS

Reward elementary students and keep your classroom positive!

  • Use these tags and wrist bands for students to attach to their clothing, wrist or shoe laces.
  • Use the color copies for quick printing and use.
  • Use the black and white for students to color their own.
  • Perfect for any Elementary Classroom!

Building classroom community will make your teaching job easier and enable you to incorporate movement activities into your daily routines.

Ultimately, these tips will help you keep kids engaged.

FREE CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT TOOLS

  • Imagine a classroom of engaged students! Using these three simple teaching tools might just give you the “kick” you need in your classroom. Teaching Ideas included!
  • “Take out your magical musical glue and put it on your shoes to help you stay in your space.”
  • “Use your magical musical glasses to take a look at the board, what do you see?”
  • “Use your magical musical camera to take a picture of you number. (Remember, you only get 1 click of the camera)” Otherwise everyone keeps clicking away….:)

Classroom management is an important part of a teacher’s responsibilities, but it doesn’t have to be hard or “un-fun”!

Using videos as movement breaks can help your students channel energy.

For example: If students are working at stations, you can have one station that’s a movement activity. Try using this video to practice counting to 30.

https://youtu.be/LO57mm5oBQQ

If you don’t want students to dance, then have them CLAP or STOMP the numbers. Be sure to show-model this expectation before using the video.

Overall, I hope you can get some ideas on how setting clear expectations, modeling, managing students, getting organized and giving positive feedback will keep kids engaged.

I’m hoping these tips help you with using MOVEMENT AND ACTIVITY SONGS TO KEEP KIDS ENGAGED.

 

Sandra from Sing Play Create
Want to use more movement activities in your classroom? Get some ideas on how setting clear expectations, modeling, managing students, getting organized and giving positive feedback will keep kids engaged in this blog post.

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