Demonstrate with the Body.
Say, “We’re going to do something very interesting in just a moment. But first, please stand up.” This raises heart rate and arousal states.
Ask your audience to take in a deep breath and let it out slowly. Now you, a group leader or assigned person can lead a team, group or those at a small table in some slow stretching.
Now, take a math problem and ask students to use their hands and body to act out the numbers. Use the body to demonstrate connections, links, relationships and key ideas. Your body can make a number, a movement or a show a plant, rock, mineral, cloud or river. They can show prefixes, suffixes or periods (stomp).
Who is Doing the Work?
Any time you have materials to get to the students, get lazy. Under 90% or more of the circumstances, your students should be passing out papers, materials, handouts or any other item.
Organize this through 1) the team leader 2) a volunteer 3) assigned in-class delivery students 4) a quick vote 5) form small impromptu groups, then ask those in them to pick the “fastest runner” or other fun designation.
In other words, if you want more engagement, stop doing the student’s work for them.
They can stand up and use their elbows to draw out a key word for the lesson. Spell out or they can use their head, knee or toes. This gets the epinephrine up!
There are other types of drawings. For example, keep a bag, bowl with some or all of the student names on cards or paper slips. The students do a drum roll on their tables for added suspense. At a point during each class let one student come up to the container and draw out two student names. One of the names gets a standing ovation (pure fun!) and the other gets to answer two questions from the group and they get one “lifeline” (ask another student, or they can look it up on the spot.). The peer pressure is both fun and stressful! If both answered correctly, then win a silly prize or favor.