Moving Students: Engagement through Enactment
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Dance vs. PowerPoint, a modest proposal - John Bohannon

Dance vs. PowerPoint, a modest proposal - John Bohannon | Moving Students: Engagement through Enactment | Scoop.it

In this TED talk, John Bohannon makes a presentation where he suggests using dancers in lieu of PowerPoint, illustrating his talk with dancers from Black Label Movement. This video is fun, beautiful, and a bit tongue-in-cheek. His point, that abstract concepts are easier to understand when presented through movemment, is made clear visually as well as auditorily. Of course, not every teacher has access to professional dancers to help jazz up the lesson's lecture, but this would make a wonderful activity for students to complete. Have them work on the day's concepts by creating their own dance, illustrating the concepts with their entire bodies. 

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Readers’ Theater

Readers’ Theater | Moving Students: Engagement through Enactment | Scoop.it

Reading aloud is not a new activity in the English classroom, but often, it is done with a profound lack of enthusiasm. However, if students are encouraged to engage in reader's theatre, instead of simple reading aloud, the activity becomes much more meaningful. Reader's theatre promotes literacy by having students engage in the text with their whole voices, bodies, and minds. No props or cosutmes are needed, but enthusiasm and experimentation is; remind students that reading is not passive, and encourage them to try new things when developing a character or describing a scene. Reader's theatre does not only have to be conducted with drama, where the parts are easily portioned; it can also be used to make a novel, short story, or poem more personal and engaging.

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Academic Review Games

Academic Review Games | Moving Students: Engagement through Enactment | Scoop.it

Teachers and students love review games, but playing Jeopardy for every test can get boring. This is a list of some fun games that can be adapted to various curriculums and units. Most of these games involve an element of competition; this can mean that the students are more engaged and motivated, but it can also make classroom management difficult. Therefore, you would want to reinforce with your students what healthy, respectful competition looks like. My favorite games from this list are Trash Ball and Pass the Chicken, what are yours?

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How to Hold a Classroom Scavenger Hunt

How to Hold a Classroom Scavenger Hunt | Moving Students: Engagement through Enactment | Scoop.it

Classroom scavenger hunts have become one of the traditional ways of welcoming students back to school and familiarizing them with a new classroom. However, a clever teacher can turn the search-and-find activity into one more cognitively engaging. Each item on the list they have to find would lead them to a content specific problem they must solve. For example: on the pencil sharpener is an algebra equation they must solve, or on the projector is a line of poetry that requires they mark the meter. The hunt can be used as a diagnostic assessment or as a review game. More adventurous teachers could let the game cover more than their classroom, or it can be confined within the class. First group back with all the problems solved wins!

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World of 100

World of 100 | Moving Students: Engagement through Enactment | Scoop.it

World of 100 is an involved simulation game that allows students to concretely visualize the inequity of the distribution of wealth and resources in the modern world. This activity helps further students' global awareness and understanding of current issues. Designed for a group of 100 students, this activity also provides details on how to scale it down to work with a single class of students. The acticity takes approximately 90 minutes, and so fits well into a standard block schedule. This activity works best with a social studies class, but 21st century awareness is important in every course, and simulation games on other issues would work well in other subects. 

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Contentless Scenes - Drama in the ESL Classroom

Contentless scenes are short dialogues with ambiguous meanings, where the actor must decide on the meaning of the scene. They are often used in theatre courses to work on making choices and character developement, but they work well outside the drama class. This website suggests using them with ESL students, to help them practice expression when they are speaking; since the scene itself is ambiguous, it requires the speaker to use tone, facial expressions, and gestures to augment their words. Contentless scenes, also called blank scenes, also work well in a standard English classroom when introducing the literary concept of subtext.

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Improv Exercise - Expert Interview

This is a very fun Improv game that consists of a player becoming an Expert of a topic, and the other players interviewing them. This game can easily be adapted for classroom use, especially as a review game. The Expert becomes an expert on the content, and students' understanding can be gauged by the quality of questions they ask and how they react to questions. This game can also be adpated into Panel of Experts, which features several players on the interview hotseat. This is a quick, fun game that works in most classrooms, and can become Interview the Scientist, the Historian, the Historical Character, the Mathmetician, the Literary Character, the Author, or any other variation you can think of.

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Four Corners in Teaching

Four Corners in Teaching | Moving Students: Engagement through Enactment | Scoop.it

Four Corners is a an opinion game that emphasizes taking a stand and convincing others of your belief. It requires that students physically move to a corner of the room to state their beliefs, and if their opinions change, to change locations. It can be a great tool for introducing a concept, especially topics that have a history of controversy, or to work on students persuasive writing techniqes. It can be used with any grade level, and any curriculum, and takes very little time. 

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A+ Schools Program in NC

A+ Schools Program in NC | Moving Students: Engagement through Enactment | Scoop.it

The A+ Schools Program is run by the NC Arts council, and is a school reform movement that emphasizes integrating arts across the curriculum.  Students therefore not only take arts classes, but also use the arts in their core classes, such as math, history, and science. Started in 1995, it is "the largest, longest running, most successful arts-based whole-school reform effort in the nation." The A+ Program is mostly Elementary schools, but there are a few Middle schools and at least one school with grades 9-12. New schools are adapting the A+ model constantly though, while other schools "graduate" and become A+ Alumni. 

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Active Schools - Classroom Physical Activity Breaks

Active Schools - Classroom Physical Activity Breaks | Moving Students: Engagement through Enactment | Scoop.it

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction developed the Active Schools Initiative as a way of encouraging student health and ensuring that all students got at least 60 minutes of physical activity a day, integrated into the school lessons. Their YouTube channel has a playlist of Classroom Physical Activity Breaks, explaining and showing many activities to get kids up and moving for five to ten minutes. The introductory video is not of the highest quality, but some of the games are very fun, and the pedagogy is sound. Most of these videos are of middle school classrooms, and the activities are geared towards that age range, but they could be adapted up or down as needed for any classroom.

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Movement and Learning

Movement and Learning | Moving Students: Engagement through Enactment | Scoop.it

Founded in 1943, ASCD (formerly the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) is an educational leadership organization dedicated to advancing best practices and policies for the success of each learner. This article is actually a chapter of a book by Eric Jensen, called Teaching with the Brain in Mind. This chapter explores the links between movment and learning, and discusses the implications of defining subjects like dance, theatre, and PE as frills instead of fundamentals. In addition to discussing how movement enhances cognition, this chapter also touches on how encouraging physical activities in school is key to promoting student's physical health.  

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The Kinesthetic Classroom: Teaching and Learning Through Movement

Mike Kuczala has created a fascinating book all about incorporating movement into the classroom. His book, The Kinesthetic Classroom, combines the research behind why it works, including concepts from neuroscience an cognitive psychology, with practical an applicable examples of activities to be used in the classroom. Most of the ideas can be incorporated across subject matters and grade levels. If you would like a preview of his ideas before you buy the book or check it out from the library, here is a presentation of some of his ideas:

 

http://www.pe4life.org/useruploads/files/Kinesthetic%20Classroom,%20Mike%20Kuczala.pdf

 

This pdf outlines some of the basic brain functions behind why movement works, and provides some short, easy activities to try out in the classroom.

 

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Helping the Student with ADHD in the Classroom: Strategies for Teachers

Helping the Student with ADHD in the Classroom: Strategies for Teachers | Moving Students: Engagement through Enactment | Scoop.it

In a standard "sit-and-git" classroom, students with ADHD can have little outlet for their energy. Therefore, considerations for students with ADHD often emphasize incorporating physicality into the classroom. This article offers many techniques for working with students with ADHD, including productive physical movement, active v. passive learning, and timing the duration of tasks to best assist students with attention difficulties. Even students who do not have ADHD benefit from these environmental and instructional considerations. 

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About Dance Education (NDEO)

About Dance Education (NDEO) | Moving Students: Engagement through Enactment | Scoop.it

The NDEO (National Dance Education Organization) is an advocacy group dedicated to promoting dance eduation in the United States. They conduct research on the benefits of dance education and coordinate programs to encourage participation in dance. The fact sheets compiled by NDEO compellingly illustrate how dance and kinesthetic learning can enhance learning and cognition for all grade levels, and set clear goals for change in the US education system and its support of the arts. This section of the site also discusses the future of dance eduation, and how dance education differs when approached as an aspect of physical education or as an aspect of the arts. NDEO also provides platforms for dance teachers to share and discuss, including a national conference. 

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www.GamesForSchool.net

www.GamesForSchool.net | Moving Students: Engagement through Enactment | Scoop.it

Harry Tawse is a teacher with over 30 years of experience, and he has learned the value of a good gaming session. This website explains his views on the value of games in the classroom, and what he has learned from his own experience with games in education. Tawse has created "The Game Box," a comprehensive set of games for all occasions, with clear instructions on how to run each game. However, his website also includes some free games that you can use without purchasing "The Game Box." These games cover all kinds of situations, from ice breakers to concentration games, and can be adapted for any grade level and content area. 

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Energizing Brain Breaks

Energizing Brain Breaks

Product by Energizing Brain Breaks, Inc. ~ David Sladkey (author) More about this product
Price: $14.95

David Sladkey is a math teacher who discovered the power of quick movement activities to give the brain a break during lessons. His book, Energizing Brain Breaks, details 50 exercises, each designed to last 1-2 minutes, that are perfect for classroom use. The length of the activities make them wonderful for transitions, to move the students from one fram of thought to another. His book has 9 reviews on Amazon, and every one of them is five stars, and many of them are from teachers who use teh activities in their classrooms. 

 

To get a better idea of his activities, you can visit his blog:

http://brainbreaks.blogspot.com/ 

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Binary Hand Dance

Finger dances are fun, silly, and a great brain break for the busy classroom. In this video, Youtuber Vihart presents the Bianry Hand Dance, explaining how the numbers for each digit was determined, and demonstrating the choreography for the series 1-8 and the first three digits of pi. These dances are actually failry easy to learn, once the concept is grasped. This kind of activity is mostly just for fun, and might make a cool thing to do on a Friday in Math class. It might also serve students as a wellcome relaxer during big standardiized tests, to take a moment and breakdance pi with their fingers.

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Soul Food For The Mind

Yoga in Schools is a non-profit organization in Pittsburgh that works with schools and teachers to use yoga in the classroom. They train PE teachers on how to lead yoga workshops, and provide core teachers with resources on breathing excerises, games, and yoga movements that they can use in their own classroom to ease classroom management issues and increase student concetration. In this video, one of the instructors from Yoga in Schools visits a juvenile detention center to lead a class for the residents there. The video contains interviews with the resdients, explaining why they appreciate the classes, and that they plan on continuing yoga after they leave the center. 

 

A link to Yoga in Schools website is included below:

http://yogainschools.org/

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Role-Playing in the Science Classroom

Role-Playing in the Science Classroom | Moving Students: Engagement through Enactment | Scoop.it

At Cornell University, Professors Marshall Hayes and Eric Nelson have adapted the "Reacting to the Past Game" for a science classroom. This game has been traditionally used in social studies classrooms, and involves students asssuming the personas of historical figures in order to debate a historical issue. Hayes and Nelson used the game as a way to have students examine the historical cholera outbreak in London in 1854 and propose solutions. The benefit of the game is that it encourages extensive research of the period and issue, as well as the character the individual student is playing. It also requires students to practice persuasive writing, in order to engage in the debates. These games can be used in most classrooms, since all subjects have historical issues, and in an English classroom the game could even be addapted into "Reacting to Literature."

 

For a comprehensve explanation of how to play the game in your own classroom, you can visit the link below. There are some games that are already published, but you can also use the format to develop your own game.

http://reacting.barnard.edu/curriculum 

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Poetry Out Loud

Poetry Out Loud | Moving Students: Engagement through Enactment | Scoop.it

Poetry Out Loud is a national poetry recitation contest sponsored by The National Endowment for the Arts and The Poetry Foundation. The aim of the competition is to have students become more engaged in literacy by getting poetry up on its feet, using the aspects of slam poetry, spoken word, and theatre. Students rise through competetions at the school, district, state, and national level, with the final winner earning $20,000 for themselves and $500 for their school to purchase poetry books. Even for students whose performances never make it past the classroom walls, the act of performing poetry gives ownership to the performer, and adds new layers of meaning for both the speaker and the audience.

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Classroom Games To Play With Students of All Ages

Classroom Games To Play With Students of All Ages | Moving Students: Engagement through Enactment | Scoop.it

This is essentially a list of games, designed to be played in a classroom. The great things about these games is that they use objects that are readily found in a classroom, in addition to being easy to play in a room full of desks. There are a lot of games, divided into simpler, primary school games, and more involved curriculum based games. However, even the primary games could be used with older students as a brain break activity or concentration warm-up.

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Whole Brain Teaching: High School Math

This is a video of Kristin DeWit, a high school math teacher, using a system called Whole Braing Teaching with her Algebra class in a lesson about slope. The system includes several movement techniques, such as mirroring and specific gestures for specifc concepts, and call and rseponse techniques, such as claps and standard class responses. The students seem engaged in the lesson, and the call-and-response allows the teacher to observe if a student falls behind the rest of the class. This video is a good example of how even incorporating small movements into the day's lesson can help students grasp ideas and concepts.

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Improv Encyclopedia

Improv Encyclopedia | Moving Students: Engagement through Enactment | Scoop.it

Improv is the art form of making up a story or scene on the spot. Improv games and activites are most often used in Theatre classes, but they can fit into any classroom. This Improv Encyclopedia is a great resource for learning the rules of improv and finding games that will work in your classroom. The best feature of this site for a curricular teacher is probably the categories section, which helps you discover games. Some categories, such as Characters, might be best suited to History or English classrooms, whereas others, such as Energy, can add a boost to any lesson.

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More Than Just Gym: Integrating Movement Across the School Day - Whole Child Education

More Than Just Gym: Integrating Movement Across the School Day - Whole Child Education | Moving Students: Engagement through Enactment | Scoop.it

The Whole Child is a website that emphasizes educating all parts of a child, and not just the mind. Part of the website is a regular podcast featuring educators and non-profit organizations.This episode of the podcast discusses effective ways to bring movement into the classroom, to both increase student engagment as well encourage student health. Both the discussion and the listener comments provides interesting activities to incorporate into any classroom. 

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