Movement Activities for Math

Instructor: Sharon Linde
This lesson gives you ideas to use in your math class that will get students moving. Movement activities can be used in a variety of ways and across grade levels, making them a flexible go-to you can keep handy.

Math and Movement

When you think of math instruction, movement may not be the term that pops into your head. After all, much of math includes calculations and paper-pencil computations. But as educators, we know the importance of active learning. With these movement activities for math, you can get kids on their feet and moving without sacrificing quality instruction and practice time.

Math Balls

Once you make these fun math balls you can use them in a variety of ways. We'll give you one example, but really, the sky's the limit!

Materials

  • Small, light-weight balls
  • Permanent marker
  • Container to store balls

Create

  • Mark each ball with a number, zero through nine.
  • Store in a basket or other cute container.

Using Math Balls - Line UP!

  • Gather students together and set the math balls on the floor in the middle of students.
  • On your go, have each student grab one math ball.
  • Students should line up in order (zero - nine). The first group to form a line correctly wins.

Extensions and Modifications

  • Use these balls to toss around a circle of students to add. For example, start with one ball, let's say three, and toss it to a student. This student doubles the number (six) and tosses to another student, who adds three to make nine.
  • Use balloons in place of balls for a more cost-saving choice.
  • Write numbers in the bottom of plastic cups and place them on the floor. Have students toss the balls into matching cups. Challenge by having them add, such as tossing two and three into the five cup.

Fly-Swatter Fun

Really, who doesn't like to whack something with a fly swatter? This simple-to-make and versatile activity can be adapted to many games and activities.

Materials

  • Fly swatters
  • Scissors
  • Index cards
  • Tape
  • Markers

Instructions

  • Cut the middle of the fly swatter out to make a small window.
  • Give each student ten index cards and have them number them so you have a set numbered zero - 100.
  • Hang cards randomly around the room.
  • Give each student a fly swatter.
  • To play, give an instruction, such as 'Swat a number with a five in the ones column!'
  • Students should search the room for a card and swat it.

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