Monday, April 6, 2015

Line it Up...Attack the Spring Wiggles

To combat the “spring wiggles,” you know that restlessness the kids start to get March/April and beyond (especially seniors...yikes),  I’ll be posting a series of quick and dirty energizers for your classes - some with videos from my own classroom. You may have heard of some of these before but just need a refresher, and some may be a brand new adventure and become a staple in your class.  At any rate, teachers love options, so here’s one for you to use tomorrow!
Line it up!
You can do this with the entire class for a super duper long line or split students into more manageable groups of 8-10 each.  Outdoor spaces work best but you can squeeze it into classroom with some desk shifting. Here's a video from my own classroom:
  • Ask players to line up in ascending order for a variety of categories.  
  • Front person raises their hand when the team thinks they are finished. No talking allowed.
  • All players must rely on body language and hand gestures to get in the proper order. Head and feet only. You can only use your head and feet to signal where to go.
  • No talking or use of arms or hands to communicate.  
  • Options include:
  • Line up by birthday dates from January to December
  • Line up by height
  • Line up by hair length
  • Line up by hair color
  • Line up by who lives closest to school vs. who lives the furthest
  • Line up by shoe size
  • Line up by darkest color of clothing to lightest
  • Line up youngest to oldest
  • Line up by least amount of siblings to most
  • Line up by bedtimes
This is actually far more than an’s “data collection” for you.  Observe who becomes the “leaders” and who naturally follows.  Watch for your shy ones who “hate” the activity.  Make a mental note to thank them later for participating.    Later in class, one-on-one, take a second to congratulate your leaders and thank them for taking charge.  Let them know they have the power to affect positive change on this campus and beyond.  Congratulate the student who helped the “lost” student, guiding them to their spot so they didn’t feel lost.
I especially love how it relies on eye contact and close physical contact:  kids squeezing in between one another, mouthing silent words, and then mouthing the silent “what”?  Some gently guide others by the shoulder pointing them in the right direction while others walk them over exactly to where they need to be.  This silly energizer holds more power than it seems.
Ask the kids to come up with some new categories for “Line it Up.”  Give them each a small piece of paper, and if they have some creative ideas they can place it in the empty coffee can.  Anytime students can be a part of the planning, there is more buy in.
This activity can be tailored to the time you can allot.  If you are jam-packed with a full-tilt lesson that day, do one “line it up.”  If you are caught with the dreaded 10 minutes before the final bell, do five “line it ups.”  Make it yours and have fun!

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