I'm ALWAYS looking for ways to get students moving, invested, and engaged in a learning topic. Do you ever look at your class and just feel that they just need to move a bit to get their blood flowing???
Here is a list of things that I do to mix things up a little bit.
#1 FIND A FRIEND
This one is pretty simple. Get up out of your seat and find someone to share your answer with! NOT your table partner (I mean they DO sit next to this person ALL day!) Most of the time, they run RIGHT to their bestie. Usually, they share their answer and maybe get a little time in for what are we doing after school. But really? This breaks up the manotony of the day for them and may be just the pick me up they need!!!
#2) FIND A STRANGER
Once the students have gotten talking to their bestie out of their system, I know that I need to provide a different option. (Otherwise they would obviously partner up with their best friend ALL day long!) NOW they have to find someone to compare answers with someone that they have NOT spoken to today. Not even a hello! This REALLY mixes it up and forces students to mingle with other students that they usually would not interact with at all. I LOVE this!!!
#3) TEXT IT!
Sometimes, after I have posed a question, I have students pull out their whiteboards and form their answers as if they were writing a text. I do NOT do this one that often (since they usually have absolutely little focus on grammar/spelling), but sometimes it is really fun for the students to think of how they would abbreviate words like Thomas Jefferson, etc.... (The kids LOVE this one....of course!)
#4) Phone a Friend
This one requires no partner work at all. They simply get out their imaginary telephone, and pretend that they are explaining their answer to a friend on the other line. I just tell them to KEEP talking and explaining their answer. I also LOVE saying, "NOONE should be quiet right now, EVERYONE should be talking!"
#5) White Board
White boards will NEVER get old. The kids LOVE getting their whiteboards out (if you are fortunate enough to have a class set!) The kids love writing out their answers and holding up their boards for all to see. It is also a great strategy for self correcting since they look around to see other's answers and if they don't match up, they are quick to check their work. (Although the markers dry up and their is ALWAYS someone that loses or needs a new marker, UGH!!!)
So there are some things I do in my classroom to increase student engagement.
Do you have any tricks or strategies to share?