You know those moments in the classroom where you heart just melts (literally) because your students are so engaged, focused, and just bought into what they’re working on?
Yeah, we know these moments don’t always come daily (or weekly) but when they do, it’s a reminder of just how transformative engagement in the classroom can be.
One way that I have been able to witness this magic happen in my classroom is when my students play Tumbling Towers so let’s talk about 5 different ways you can use the game in your classroom.
#1: Review Activity
It’s no surprise that coming in at number one is using Tumbling Towers to review skills, concepts, or prior learning. Tumbling Towers is a great way to get your students to willingly engage in reviewing because let’s be honest, it’s not the most exciting thing to do. You can give them problems on a specific skill, different question types, or a cumulative review leading up to a test or end of unit.
#2: Practice of New Learning
Some days, you just need to spice up the independent practice and mix it up. Tumbling Towers is a super easy way to get your kids to practice new learning in a way that is collaborative and engaging. This will also allow you the flexibility to navigate the room to support students and for them to receive more support from peers.
#3: Vocabulary Practice
Vocabulary is important in every single subject. But, it’s also one of the most difficult things to teach and considering some of us work with high populations of EL’s, language is crucial. Providing your students with an opportunity to engage with vocabulary and the language of your subject area in a game like format will “trick” them into not realizing they are reviewing/learning vocabulary words. You can make a Tumbling Towers game mat with different vocabulary words. Whatever color they pull is the word they must define. It is simple, yet engaging and effective.
Want to see an example? Click HERE.
#4: Ice Breakers
It often feels like we see and hear about the same, old ice breakers every single year. Like the beginning of the year/get to know you activities… yeah they get repetitive and stale after a while, right? Use Tumbling Towers to add some new spark into your ice breaker life. Create your own “get to know you” questions using one of my Tumbling Towers templates and after grouping students, they take turns pulling a block. Whatever color block they pull is the question their team answers. It allows a chance for students to get to know one another, but also sets the tone for how to play the game the rest of the year.
#5: Classroom Expectations and Routines
No matter what point in the year it is, students always benefit from revisiting classroom expectations and routines again. Whether it’s the start of the year, March, or the final month of school, we know students need to hear things a lot of times. Sometimes changing things up helps students pay more attention, so why not make a game out of it. Create a Tumbling Towers set that is centered around your classroom expectations and routines. Students will be more likely to focus and maybe even have fun while doing it.
Before we wrap up, did you hear that I am launching a whole mini-course on Tumbling Towers? Yup, a one stop shop to help you bring the engagement to your classroom and students. You can find all of the information here!
5 Creative Ways You Can Use Tumbling Towers
There are so many possibilities for how you can use Tumbling Towers in your classroom to engage your students. These 5 ideas are just the surface of the list, but will make all the difference with your students because engagement = buy-in.