Races are student centered activities that can easily be adapted for educational purposes. In this section I will give 3 ideas for how to turn a simple race into a student centered learning activity.
1) Stand Up Race
The stand up race is an easy race that kids will enjoy. Along with being a lot of fun, it is easy to adapt it to many different subjects and learning. The stand up race is very easy to set up. First you put students into groups of 3-4. One of the group members in the counter and the judge. The counter first counts to 1-2-3 Go! The other students race to stand up the fastest. Next the counter who is also judge tells the other students who the fastest person was. The fastest person will be the new counter and judge, while all the others, including the current counter/judge, must complete the task provided. Maybe the task is reading a selection of your text, maybe it is practicing grammar, or math problems. The race continues until the teacher says it's time to be finished. Another great thing about this game is that the teacher can easily participate and become counter/judge at anytime and use this race as a formative assessment.
2) White Board Race
The white board race is simple and fun. Put your students into two groups or more. Then have them get ready in the back of the classroom. When the teacher or student counter is ready, he says go or whatever word is being used in your class as a que. Next the students race however instructed to until they touch the whiteboard. My favorite adaptation is to have students walk as quickly as they can with the feet touching at all times. This makes the race safe because they are not running and fun. Other ideas are to jump, skip, crawl or really anything that will be fun AND safe. The losing teams are then required to perform the task set up by the teacher, such as grammar practice, reading, writing, or math.
3) Reading Race
The reading race is a fun way to get students to work together as a team to quickly complete assigned reading. This race is a relay. First have students make groups of 4 or more, or whatever works best in your classroom. Next, the people the group split up into two sides across the room from eachother. As the students begin the race they must first read the required section of the text. They then cross the room and tag their group members on the other side. That person is then required to read their required section before racing to tag the next person on their team. This race is great for making kids work together as a team while also forcing them to read individually. When students are having difficulty reading their teammates are able to help them as well.
All three races are fun ways to make learning student centered while providing ample opportunities to practice the task provided.
What student-centered approaches or techniques include physical movement as a central element?
· When you include movement in learning, it can come in various forms such as of role playing, playing catch, simply getting up from their seats, doing interpretative dances and many more. It becomes “learning by doing, rather than just listening to the teacher or watching a demonstration”, this is more commonly known askinesthetic learning . According to Blaydes, when more senses are used in learning a concept, the information is stored in more areas of the brain so the brain has more memory ways for taking in all the information.
Some examples or strategies to incorporate movement in class are as follows:
1. Students create props of their own explaining subject matter (shadow boxes, mobiles, etc...)
2. Students create review games.
3. Students go on field trips
4. Students learn science in Laboratories (hands-on)
Giles, E., Pitre, S., & Womack, S. (2003). Multiple Intelligences and Learning Styles. Retrieved July 30, 2016, from http://epltt.coe.uga.edu/index.php?title=Multiple_Intelligences_and_Learning_Styles
Chen, Anne. "Student-Centered Active Learning with Total Physical Involvement to Enhance Language Acquisition." Good Practice Publication Grants, n.d. Web. 30 July 2016