Movement in the Math Classroom
Hello. Are you struggles with keeping your students actively involved during class? Are you looking to help secondary students to become active participants in your math classroom? I am here to help you. I have created a list of strategies to easily incorporate into your lessons without a ton of prep work.
I have been using these strategies in my Algebra 1 classes for a few years now and have seen great academic success and higher engagement with my students. I will continue to use movement in all my future math classes!
Up-down strategy is an easy way to incorporate movement into your math lesson. It is super SIMPLE and does not require any extra prep. Here is how it works: On the count of three, stand up if you believe ______, sit down if you believe _______. ] It truly is that easy. You can ask verbal questions or show picture/word problem questions.[warning: showing printable pictures will require a little bit of prep] You can go one step deeper by calling on someone and having them justify their reasoning, but this is NOT required to use the strategy.
Here are some math examples I have done in my algebra room.
1. Stand if you believe this table is a function. Sit down if you believe it is not.
2. Stand if you believe this parabola is concave up. Sit down if you believe it is concave down.
3. Stand if believe this system would be more efficient to solve using substitution. Sit down if you believe this would be more efficient to solve using elimination.
4. Stand if you believe the answer to this equations is greater than 0. Sit down if you believe the answer is less than 0.
5. Stand if you believe this linear inequality should be shaded above the line. Sit if you believe it should be shaded below.
Four corners is a strategy that requires students to get out of their sits and head to a corner! I try to incorporate this strategy every couple lessons or at least once a week. Here is how it works. I have created four different math problems and label them 1,2,3,4. Then I place one in each of the four corners. When it is time for students to solve these problems then simply hold up a 1,2,3 or 4 up on their fingers in front of their chests. Once I see all their numbers they get up and walk to that numbers corner. As a group they work out the problem together. Then each group gets the opportunity to explain their thought process along with their conclusion.
Whole body is a strategy they requires students to use their bodies to assist their learning. There are many ways this can be interpreted so I will provide you with some examples that I use in my Algebra classroom.
1. Graphing linear lines. I place a coordinate plane on my floor with tape and use wet erase markers for students to draw on the floor. They simply walk it out.
2. Identifying characteristics of a parabolas. They can non verbally show me if they are understanding the following characteristics: concave up/concave down, stretch/shrink, vertex transformations. Here is how I do it: I place an equation on the board and they use their arms to describe what is happening. For the vertex transformations students walk it out at their desks.
3. Learning the four types of slopes.
Simon says is exactly the game you are thinking you learned in 1st grade- because it is. Instead of doing random things, like touch your toes, I have them act out math things!
Here are some of my favorites..
1. Parent functions! Rather than verbally listing them, I say, “Mrs.Damman says” and then place an equation under the camera. [These take a little bit of prep work]
2. Definitions! (When I taught the middles grades)
I think you get the idea. If you are wanting more ideas for a certain lesson using any of these strategies, please shoot me an email and I will be more than happy to help you. Thinking of these is my JAM!
PS. Be on the lookout for part 2.