I was talking to a colleague recently, and she passed this idea on to me. She observed a classroom where one of the teachers developed a movement activity corresponding with a set of questions and paper airplanes.
Each student was given a math worksheet with four problems. I generalizing, so some of the details may a be a bit hazy, but, overall, the activity is easily modified. Students were divided in half so that each side of the classroom had roughly the same number of students. Teachers could also divide students into groups of four and have students all around the room. Each student worked through the first math problem. This could be done individual or with a partner. After about five minutes working with the problem, the worksheet was folded into a paper
Each student worked through the first math problem. This could be done individual or with a partner. After about five minutes working with the problem, the worksheet was folded into a paper airplane. On the count of three, or when the chime sounded, students threw the airplanes into the middle of the classroom. At the teacher’s signal, students went to the middle and grabbed an airplane. Students unfolded the airplane, made corrections (if needed) to the first problem and then worked on the second problem. This process continued until each problem was answered.
This activity could have easily been completed with students sitting in pairs or groups for four working on each problem and checking for correct answers. Modifying the assignment in this way did not require a lot of planning. The only planning different from seated group work involved making sure students knew how to make a paper airplane. Throughout the activity, students were engaged and motivated to complete the work. Plus, they were activating key areas of the brain academically, socially, emotionally, and behaviorally.