Student-centered learning focuses on students being an active participant in their learning. Students learn through experience and collaboration with peers in order to build upon their existing knowledge. The role of the teacher in a student-centered classroom is to be a partner to the student and develop and organize experiences that students learn from. What follows are two examples of student-centered teaching strategies that encourage physical involvement and movement.

Human Timeline

In this teaching strategy students can work individually or in pairs to organize themselves in chronological order according to the events they are given. Students will be given a topic and specific events that relate to that topic. Students will then review their event and be asked to line up in chronological order and present their event in their own words. If time permits, students can enhance their presentations by searching for relevant pictures or video. Evaluation can be done with a type of reverse timeline, a handout with a dated timeline and no information, allowing students to fill in the information.

Exit cards

Exit cards are a common teaching strategy that can easily incorporate movement into the classroom. Students are given cards with questions relating to the day’s lesson. The questions should be answered in order to leave the classroom at the end of the lesson. Instead of the obvious oral or written response to the questions, students can also be given the option to act out answers and concepts in order to answer the exit questions.


Facing History and Ourselves. Exit Cards. Retrieved from

Facing History and Ourselves. Human timeline. Retrieved from

Iowa Core. Characteristics of effective Instruction: Student-Centered Learning. Retrieved from