Thursday, April 26, 2012

Review While Moving...With Music

Teacher:  "OK class, today we're going to review __________."

Class:  Moans and groans {or wants to fall asleep like the cartoon above}

Even I hate dislike a review day, even though they are so needed, if it means I have to stand at the board and talk at my students all day!  Yes...I said 'at' instead of 'to' because I feel like that's what I'm really doing.

So, I outlawed that type of review in my classroom after about my 2nd attempt years ago!

Of course that means a little more front-end prep on my part, but I think it's so totally worth it.  Over time, I've done lots of different types of, partners, groups, etc....

What I'm sharing with you today ends up always being a big hit.  {To be honest, I'm not sure why...other than there is movement and music involved!}  I always get complete cooperation with focused, on-task behavior while students work very hard for the entire class period with this type of review.

No rocket science is needed.  It's fairly quick and easy to set up.

{Unfortunately, I've never taken pictures of this in action, so you'll have to use a little imagination here!}

I find questions, problems, whatever, that I know my students need to review.  I have as many questions as I do students...and the questions need to be numbered.

I type up the questions and print them out {typically} on bright paper.  Only one copy is needed.  Then I cut the questions apart and use packing tape to tape them down at each seat on my tables {or desks if you have them}.

Students number their papers from 1 - 25 or whatever number of students you have.

{Take a minute to make sure they understand that the question numbers and the numbers on their papers should match up.  If a student begins at question number 14's spot, she should answer it beside number 14 on her paper and so on...}

It's now time to begin!

I usually give students 1 - 2 minutes per question, depending on the types of questions I picked.

Then I play about 15 seconds of music to signal that it's time to move to the very next question number.

Yep, they move about 6" unless they need to walk a couple of feet to the next 15 seconds is plenty of time.  They must be seated when I stop the music.

Repeat until all the questions have been completed.

To go over their answers, I display the correct answers on my ActivBoard.

Students have a chance to ask questions for the ones they missed.

I'm happy!

They're happy {and they were fully engaged in the work}!

For the music, I usually try to play something about walking.  There are hundreds of songs about walking, but many of them are not appropriate for the classroom. :-(

Here are a few from across the decades that are student-friendly.  This is also a great way to introduce students to different types of music...even upbeat tunes from other countries work great.  Just pick something fun with a good beat!

Walking on Sunshine ~ Katrina and the Waves

I'm Walking ~ Fats Domino

Walk Like an Egyptian ~ The Bangles

{I am linking this post up with Rachel from Minds In Bloom.  Head over to her blog to see lots of other great ideas about incorporating movement into your classroom.}

Enjoy :)

Making It {and smiling},


  1. Had to pin this to my testing board...we need to get up and move a lot next week (our last week to review) so THANK YOU for this post!


    Fun in Room 4B

    1. Thanks for the pin, Elizabeth! Although some time is needed to allow for the is so worth it to have much better focus and participation from my students! In the end, there is usually more on-task time with this type of activity!

      I appreciate you stopping by and taking time to leave a comment. :)


  2. I have done your idea before and it is great to get them moving.
    My students (freshmen) also love a game of "Talk a Mile a Minute" on test days. I divide all our vocab words for the unit into 4 or 5 PPT slides. (We usually have 30-40 words per unit) Set the slides with vocab words to transition to the next slide after 1 minute. In between vocab slides, put a slide in that says "Switch" and advance that one manually. Make a cover slide also with the Title and the rules. Get your partner to say as many words on the slide in one minute as you can. You can not say the word, can't say any part of the word, can't say it rhymes with or sounds like, and (the hard one) you can't use your hands. The first time you play will take a little bit of time, but once they get used to the format you can review 40 vocab words in 6-8 minutes total. They love it! I also sometimes throw a set of "themed words" totally unrelated to the unit on the slides too (one per slide) They have to switch gears from giving clues about animal classification to get their partner to say "Milk Duds" or "Justin Beiber"! They have fun after trying to figure out the random theme.

    1. What a great idea, Laura! Thanks for sharing...I'll definitely give this one a try!

      Thanks for coming by and sharing such a great idea with us. :)