Try Siop Strategies
TRY Go Noodle
On days when seatwork or lecture might get intense, taking a Go Noodle break helps students stay fresh and actually accomplish more.
Go Noodle is a site I learned about from the early elementary teachers in my #edufam online PLC. (Check out this link for more of what elementary teachers say about Go Noodle, but don't be put off by the younger kids, it works for teenagers too!)
Go Noodle has categories so you can choose calming, stretching, educational, or other kinds of movement.
They even have an INDOOR RECESS channel where I found this gem!
I wasn't sure it would be to juvenile, but I tested it out last year in the media center and the kids were into it! I think it's great for middle schoolers, too. They think the videos are hilarious and you can gamify it by creating a class and earning points for each dance you do. The all time best earworm is probably PopSiKo
And really, how can you call yourself a true middle school teacher if you aren't letting your students get up and dance to KidzBop?! Go Noodle is here with KIdzBop Dances to rectify that problem, stat.
Are you still not convinced? Need help getting started? I will show you my MakerSpace Go Noodle Channel, I will come to your classroom to run a brain break with your class, or you can follow this script:
If dancing is just too out there for you, why not start with SECRET HANDSHAKES? If that is too ridiculous for you, you can have the students make up their own.
If you definintely want to avoid dance, try a stretching video like:
If you are all-in and have no limit, let them freestyle with these crowd pleasing videos:
VocabBall http://piedmontpd.weebly.com/lesson-ideas/incorporating-vocabulary _
Dance Your Lessons http://piedmontpd.weebly.com/piedmont-pd/1
Many More Active Learning Strategies and Active Test Prep Strategies http://piedmontpd.weebly.com/lesson-ideas/category/active-learning_
Some teachers say " Don't bring your drama into my classroom" Mr. Milligan requires it. His Pigman reenactment is a Piedmont tradition.
Over the years Mr. Milligan has honed the Pigman Trial project into a complete interdisciplinary lesson that encapsulates the best of IB, reading comprehension, creative thinking, multiple intelligences, and real-world skills development. That's a pretty impressive list from just one unit but it is an all-encompassing one that is true PBL, project based learning.
Even if you don't want to copy Mr. Milligan's full unit (and honestly who else could?) you can easily adapt pieces of dramatic-based learning to help your students master your content. It could be as simple as having students perform skits to explain units of a text, vocabulary charades or as complex as putting an aspect of your own content "on trial" or having students create a character from your content area and remain "in character" through a full class of interaction.
See Ms. Gurthie for more ideas or to plan together.
A student videographer prepared this full-length documentary video of this year's Pigman trial. Sure it's three hours long, but anywhere you click will show students thinking and arguing their point, and helping each other develop understanding in the process.
Thanks, Mr. Milligan, for using your own gifts in designing this active learning experience for Piedmont's seventh grade! For more information you can view some of Mr. Milligan's unit from his presentation on the Pigman Trial PBL year's North Carolina gifted conference here .
Tomorrow begins our end of year testing. Due to outdated competitive attitudes and well-intentioned conscientiousness, many teachers use the last day for last minute-review blast of facts. I used to do that, too, even after I knew it was not proven effective educational practice.
But Ms. Lyttle and Ms McCarthy have what researchers say is a better idea. You can easily adapt their lesson for your own class to help students recognize and combat the stress that has been shown to hamper test performance by shutting down thinking and even restricting blood flow to the brain.
There are plenty of resources online for all age levels that you can cull to share with students: from yoga videos and guided relaxation music to stress-busting suggestions and rate your anxiety quizzes.
Here is a step by step of the Pre-Test Day Stress-busting lesson their students experienced, in photos:
I am Lisa Gurthie the PD facilitator at Piedmont IB Middle School. She specializes in tech and arts integration, interdisciplinary, holistic education, and unschooling school to make it more real and relevant. One day I will modernize my "about" page. Check out the other blogs on this site for Lesson Ideas, Celebration of Good Teaching, and Piedmont PD