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Movement Ideas for "Those" Days

It can happen during the week before Christmas, the days before Spring Break or during each and every sunny day in May.  Your students come to music class with an overabundance of energy and a deficit of attention.  It is tough for them to concentrate and they need to move!  In this post I'll share some of my favorite wiggly activities to get through "those" days: creative movement, watch and wiggle and dance party.

Creative Movement

I've been using these posters for quite some time.  Last year I turned them into something a little prettier and now have several sets in my TpT store.  These movement sets each have a theme and come with two different activities:  Freeze Dance and Creative Movement.  Freeze Dance is probably self explanatory, but the creative movement cards may need a little more explaining.
I either project the file or print it out and just hold the posters up while students dance.  I actually prefer printing them out so that I can come back to a really fun move over and over.  I start the music (Suggestions are included, but almost anything works!) and then hold up a creative movement poster.  Students look at the picture and/or the name on the card and then decide how to interpret it.  This is SO much fun that kids ask for it every week.  Sometimes I mix and match the sets to keep them on their toes.  Here are a few samples from different sets:

 You can click each of these pictures to learn more about the sets.

Watch and Wiggle

Teacher Confession #1:  Sometimes, especially at the end of the school year, I just need to sit down for a few minutes.  I need to sit and rest because there is just no tired like end-of-the-year-tired.  For me, it is a great time to pull out my watch and wiggle videos.
Teacher Confession #2:  I have quite a few student favorites saved on Symbaloo and until this day, I have never shared my list with anyone.  Why?  This visual playlist ups my cool factor by about 50 degrees.  Kids love it that much.  So, be careful and use it wisely.  :-)
Click here to check out my Movement and Dance Symbaloo board with links to some of my favorite wiggly songs.

Dance Party

This is the most exhausting but exhilarating options for "those" days.  It is time to wear them out with an all out dance party! WooOoOooT!  On dance party days (or days where the last half of class is a dance party), I have students stack their chairs and leave a ton of open space.  We talk about acceptable dance behavior, personal space and rule #2 in the music room "Don't touch Mrs. King's stuff!"

Then, we dance.  I usually dance with them as they need a leader for some of the dances.  Here are some of our favorites:
Cha Cha Slide
Cupid Shuffle
Chicken Dance
The Bunny Hop
C'mon Ride the Train (Here's a great tutorial.)
The Hokey Pokey (Yes, even with the big kids!)
Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)
Next dance party I'm going to try:
The Wobble (Tutorial here.)
The Cotton Eyed Joe (Tutorial here.)

Warning:  This option can be pretty exhausting, but I must admit that I always feel better and sleep really well that night!

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Crafty Ideas for Teacher Appreciation

Crafty Ideas for Teacher Appreciation by Tracy King

Hurray for teachers!  I love celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week but I love to celebrate teachers all year long too!  Here are a few ideas for crafty thank you gifts for teachers and staff members.  

Crafty Ideas for Teacher Appreciation by Tracy King
You were MINT to Shine
In this goody bag, staff members get a hand full of mints and a key chain flashlight.  They are placed in a clear treat bag and tied off with some curly ribbon.   (MSTA is the Missouri State Teacher's Association.  If you teach in Missouri, please check out this fabulous organization!)

Crafty Ideas for Teacher Appreciation by Tracy King
POPpin' In
Microwave popcorn looks fun and fabulous.  The red polka dot paper is scrapbooking paper cut to wrap around the entire pack of popcorn.  I added the tag (Yes, I know it's corny!) and the gold piece of popcorn.  The popcorn was made with glitter foam sheets from Walmart or a craft store.  They are inexpensive and you can make quite a few with one sheet.
The tag says "Just wanted to POP in to say... We know it may seem a little CORNY and we're really not trying to BUTTER you up, but you are a very important part of our school!  Thanks for every KERNEL of wisdom you impart!

Crafty Ideas for Teacher Appreciation by Tracy King
Float into a New Year Charged Up!
This was a fun craft to make!  We ordered custom USB car chargers from Elite Promotions.  We poked them into a section of pool noodle that had been cut to be about 2-3 inches tall.  The tag was tied onto the pool noodle with curly ribbon.  These were pretty unusual and were received quite well.

Crafty Ideas for Teacher Appreciation by Tracy King
You Have to Glow
This simple gift would be fun around Halloween or perhaps a school spirit week.  This little tag is holding a glow stick.  They are inexpensive and fun and add just the right mood to a silly, schedule-gone-crazy kind of day.

Crafty Ideas for Teacher Appreciation by Tracy King
You're the BALM!

You've seen the lip balms that come as spheres.  Love them!  They are so handy and they make great craft gifts!  I took the lid off and traced it on the tag and then cut it out and put the bottom of the lip balm through it and the top lid on top.  When I screwed the lid back on, it attached the balm to the paper without any kind of adhesive.  You can find these in most discount stores, drug stores and dollar stores.

If you'd like some more crafty ideas for gift giving, you might enjoy this Pinterest Board.  

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