Sunday, January 11, 2015

5 Days of Indoor Recess, 5 Ideas to Try!


I know a good portion of the country had a similar week: first week back from break, dangerously low temperatures, 5 days of indoor recess. Plus, their comfortable schedule was compromised with a 2 hour delay on Thursday (What do you mean there's no snack time this morning?) and two days at the computer lab with mandatory testing. 

Despite the almost 2 week break, those little guys were squirming all over again.

Yet, we have to keep teaching! 

Here are a five things we can do.

1.  Transition! No matter how fascinating our lessons are, kids need to move their bodies.  Every time I notice them struggling to pay attention (about every 5-8 minutes according to research) I will change things up.  If they are at the rug, I'll have them go to their desks. If they're at their desks, we'll go to the rug. If they're at the reading table, I'll have them go get a book or a paper. Getting up to move grabs a few extra minutes to the lesson.

2. Brain Breaks! Sometimes a simple walk across the classroom isn't enough. They not only need to move, but they need to think about something else for a while! Playing imaginary basketball or playing the air guitar to a FUN song gives their brain as well as their body a change and a workout.  They get their blood moving as well as their imagination. 

3. Go Noodle! I'm sure you have heard of Go Noodle by now! My kiddos LOVE it! It is free (although you can pay for even more fun stuff) and there are numerous videos that are fun and get the kids moving. Most teachers who use it are in love with Go Noodle! (I admit, I'm one of them!)


4. Shake it Up! Although in a dream situation, the first week back after a break should be settling back into a schedule, that didn't happen for us this week. Usually I use the "shake it up" strategy when things have become stagnant and the kiddos need a change. Here are a few ways I shake things up without sacrificing classroom order and management:
Change their seats - they always love to see who their new "neighbors" are!
Reverse the schedule ( if your school allows)
Change the groupings 
Bring out a new set of books (my kids get so excited when I bring out new books!)
Start a whole new topic in Science or Social Studies

5. Glitter! When all else fails, bring out the glitter! Glitter not only makes a good incentive, but it's just plain cool! I brought out the glitter on Friday afternoon as a reward. After 5 days of indoor recess, they were still smiling, gave their all on the computer tests, and had learned 2 digit subtraction with regrouping! Now THAT is a great reason to bring out the glitter!

My kiddos had been working on goal setting for 2015 using THESE freebie foldables by Rachel Lamb.

I think they needed glitter, don't you?

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