This year I have a class that moves and shakes and spins and jumps and twirls and is in a constant state of motion. In years past, this would have made me loco and a bit cranky. This year, however, in my year of positivity, I have a brighter outlook on all this activity and am even learning to embrace it.
When my class walks down the hallway you will see some spinners and some jumpers. You will see some skippers and some high kickers. You will see some bouncing on their toes and some taking giant steps. You will even, I dare say, see some joggers as they catch up to the line.
If you look into my classroom, you will see lots of movement. You will see kids walking and waving their arms around, you will see kids bent over their desks and stretched out in their chair. You will see hands rapping the desk and feet tapping the floor. You will see an actual pulsating wave of kids at any given moment.
This year I started using "Brain Breaks", a summer Pinterest find. They are short 2-3 minute activities on colorful little sticks to allow for some stretching and wiggling. I let the kids decide when they need one - one in the morning and one in the afternoon. I figure if someone remembers to ask for them, they must need one. Normally we do at least one a day.
Today after our book clubs, one of the little ones offered up the suggestion. "How about a Brain Break?" she asked.
Naturally, several students concurred with this idea. In part because it would waste some time before math and also, like I told you before, they really, really love to move.
"Sounds like a superb idea to me!" I agreed.
So the little girl went to the colorful "Brain Break" can and pulled out a stick. She frowned. Obviously, it wasn't the fun break she had hoped for. Admittedly, some of them are rather lame, so I always let them chose one until it seems like a good one.
She picked out another.
"Follow me!" she announced. This is an activity where a student stands on the back carpet and whatever they do, all the other students mimic. A silent "Simon Says" type of game. It's quite fun, both to watch and participate in.
She stepped to the back carpet. She put her hands on her hips. Twenty-one other students put their hands on their hips. She shook her head back and forth and up and down. Ditto on the audience. She kicked her foot out and held it there. She put her foot down and jumped in the air several times. For the next minute or so, she continued while the class followed along, move by move, wiggle by wiggle, giggle by giggle.
When the time was up, the students returned to their seats and I figured we had about another twenty to thirty minutes of time, before the movement would return.
I'm thinking I'm going to suggest to my class that they need to come up with a little dance, their own special Room 24 "Brain Break". They could choreograph it and put their own little personalities and touches on it.
I'm going to call it "The Third Grade Shuffle."
If you see my class "dancing" through the hallways in a more coordinated manner, don't mind us. We'll just be trying our shuffle out and getting our move on.