Sunday, May 15, 2011

Shape Cha-Cha Slide

About a month ago, I was teaching my students about slides, flips, and turns with shapes.  I didn't want it to be all worksheets all the time.  So as a last-minute idea during my planning period (which is right before I teach math) I decided to introduce each concept (slide, flip, and turn), then do "Shape Ballet" where I played slow ballet-esque music and had them make their little shapes "dance" by sliding, then turning.  Later to do the reflection, I had them have a shape "dance partner," facing each other while they danced.  It was cute for an introduction to the concepts, but it gave me an idea to do "Shape Cha-Cha-Slide!"  (For my first graders, it was also good practice for reviewing left and right.)  I found the "cha-cha slide" song and played it for us to 'dance' to.  Only instead of our bodies doing the movements, our shapes did! I provided each student with a shape block and a piece of grid paper as a "dance floor" for their shape. Here's a simple breakdown of what we'd do:

-Whenever it said "slide to the left/right/take it back," we'd slide whichever way it specified and say "slide".
-We'd still stomp our right/left foot when it instructed us to do so.
-Whenever it said "turn it out" we'd turn our shape and say "turn"
-When it says "reverse," we would flip our shape once and say "flip!" on the off beat.
-On the extra stuff like "how low can you go/clap your hands/hands on your knees/cha-cha now," we'd take a dance break and do those motions with our bodies just for fun!

*So, all in all, this activity by itself does not TEACH the students everything they need to know.  But it was something that got them interested and kept them active.  After I used this to introduce the unit of study, they kept asking for it.  So each day during our shape study I told them if they worked hard in math for the day, we could end it with the shape cha-cha slide.  Whatever works!

Here are some other things on slides, flips and turns I have found:

-Here is a link to a simple on-line game to play on a SmartBoard or to have students play on student computer for review.
-Here is a good lesson plan with a slide/flip/turn game to play!

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