Keeping Them Engaged!

08 February 2017 / Leave a Comment
Keep your students engaged and learning!

Is it possible to get an early case of Spring Fever?  I know that the groundhog saw his shadow, but my class is more active than usual!  We've had so many rainy days, it's challenging to keep them focused!

This year's group is a little more "active" than in previous year!  I have to be very intentional about the structure of my day, making sure I try to get my students up and moving and staying engaged!   Whenever I see the wiggles starting (it spreads like wildfire) I get them up and moving with GoNoodle, of course!  If you aren't a GoNoodler, you have to sign up for a free account!

Get your students moving and learning with frequent brain breaks!

Of course, I can't just have them GoNoodle all day, although that would be nice!  I try to create lots of opportunities to move and groove while we learn throughout the day!

I start right away with our morning meeting!  We meet on the carpet and do our morning greeting. This greeting is usually associated with moving to music, high-fiving friends, walking a path around the room, etc.

But obviously we need to teach the core subjects, right?

Children love to play games, so let them play! There are so many great ways to reinforce the concepts you are teaching in class.  This can be in the shape of partner games, small group or whole class!  Make it fun and they will learn! Some people might say I'm sneaky, but I think I'm just clever, creative, and brilliant...tricky, and a little sneaky!


Here's a quick and easy game to play with a deck of cards!
Go Fish for 10
All you need is a deck of cards with all the face cards removed (or they can be wild) Students take turns "fishing" for missing addends to make 10.  For example, if a child has a 2, he/she asks their partner for an 8.  This is a great way to reinforce sums to 10!

This freebie only requires a simple deck of playing cards!
Click to access this Freebie!

Small Group

Small groups are great for reinforcing concepts!  I usually teach these myself or with a parent volunteer.  Once my students are comfortable with the game, I move it to an independent center or early finisher choice! The key is engagement!  If they enjoy the game and get to "play" with friends, they're engaged! Dice games, Roll and Cover, Write/Read/Add the Room are all great ways to get your students moving and/or keep them engaged in learning!  One of my class favorites is using big dice!  Is there anything better than oversized dice? Well, maybe mini-dice, but dice are AWESOME!

My students use these to roll a number and then fill in 10 more, 10 less, 1 more and 1 less!  Great practice and this can be modified for partner play or small group.  I have both small and large mats on hand depending on what the situation calls for.  These cuties finished their work and are working playing "Fill-it-in" in a group of 3!  They are happily engaged in play...but they're practicing Common Core Standards and reinforcing important concepts!  Win-win!

Students practice 10 more, 10 less, 1 more, 1 less while playing and having fun with partners!
Click above for a Freebie!

Students practice 10 more, 10 less, 1 more, 1 less while playing and having fun with partners!

Whole Class

Once in a while, you just have to get the entire class engaged!  It's time to pull out SCOOT!  

My kids love this game!  I put on some music, lay out cards on everyone's desks and we scoot around doing oodles of math practice...but they just think we're playing a game!  This is in the plans for Valentine's know it will be one of our "fun games" that we get to play!

Get your whole class moving and learning while playing and reinforcing math concepts!

I hope you'll try out some of these freebies with your students!  Add these to your toolbelt or when you just need to try something new and different!  Changing up your normal centers and routines can increase student engagement right away!


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