A Basket Filled with Tricks - Keeping Students Engaged!

Hello Everyone, 
I hope you are all enjoying your day so far! I just wanted to write up a quick post about some things I use in my classroom to keep students engaged! There are thousands upon thousands of fun ways to get the kiddies motivated and I can't wait to share more with you, but these were the only things I actually had at home! The rest is all back at school (so more of these fun posts to come in the near future)! 

The number one thing that keeps my kiddies motivated, every year, is movement. Especially my little active boys, who can't sit still! There are so many variations of brain breaks out there, from YouTube videos, to task cards, to actual mini-workouts for kids! I love all of these fun options! They are great ways to give the kiddies a break and get them back on the right track. 

This is my all time favorite video! My colleague introduced it to me and the kids can't get enough of it. In fact, I GO BANANAS too! It's so much fun!

This dude is a riot!

There are also fun ways to incorporate movement during academic lessons! 
Here are some of the fun "PROPS" we use to have fun!

1. Clipboards

Oh, how kids love clipboards. We usually use them for Read/Write the room or taking surveys, but last year, I have to say, I just handed them out for random activities. 
All of a sudden Ms. Nicole was like, 
"Today, we are going to review subtraction. Grab a clipboard and get started!" You can pick them up at any Dollar Store and they last forever! I also love how serious and official the kiddies look when carrying them around! 

2. Magnifying Glasses

When people ask me what I would do if I hadn't chosen the best professional in the world, I answer: A Detective. AND... I'm kinda serious! I love that stuff! Guess what! So do the students! I use magnifying glasses all the time, especially during centers. The easiest way is to use teeny, tiny fonts! One fun activity is to type your theme words in a small font and have students use the magnifying glasses to decipher the words. You can also hide words in a picture and have them search for them. 

3. Binoculars

What better way to go searching for words, than using binoculars. A colleague sent some over for me and the kiddies just love it! They go on little missions and find as many words as they can! I usually give them some instructions (find words with the "bl" blend or "s" sound). 

4. Funny Glasses

My students always want to go to the reading corner. They love to read and what's more, they love to wear funny glasses while doing it! The Dollar Store tends to have a great selection and I also have a giant clown pair that I use when applying band-aids! Basically, it goes like this. They come crying and I take out my giant glasses and say: "MMMMMM, let me see if I can find your cut!" This seems to stop the crying right away and put a big smile on their faces!

5. Stamps

Now, I know how we don't like messes. TRUST ME, I know! I'm the queen of OCD and a class full of 7 year olds often puts me in what I call "AHHHHH!" situations! I do, however, get out of my cleanliness comfort zone because I love the kiddos and well, trust me it's all worth it! PLUS, once you train them, they get pretty good at keeping things clean and organized. Stamps are fun because the kiddies just love them. We use them to stamp words and we even use them in math to stamp out answers or patterns. Of course, I do not suggest giving all 24 kids stamps at once!
I would probably faint!

6. Highlighters & Pointers

Nothing like spicing up a shared reading lesson with some funny pointers and highlighters. The students love to use "Witchy Fingers" and other pointers when reading along. They also love to highlight important words in the text. I usually have them highlight theme words or even words with the sounds we are working on at that time.

All of these "PROPS" can be found at the Dollar Store and are quite inexpensive. 
Simply put, they are quick and fun ways to spruce up learning!

Be sure to check out some of my Back to School Packs on TpT!

I'll be blogging all about the fun we had last year, with my Students in Disguise Pack!

Until next time...

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