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Add Physical Activity to Staff Meetings

Thanks to its partnership with publisher Eye on Education, EducationWorld is pleased to present this fun staff activity idea, perfect for re-focusing teachers after the holidays. The idea comes from Battling Boredom: 99 Strategies to Spark Student Engagement, by Bryan Harris. The book provides tips for engaging students in the classroom, but can also be used for teachers.

Movement is critical to the learning process. Particularly after the holiday season, adults and children are better engaged when they are physically active. This dueling game is just the thing to help teachers stay on track while blowing off some steam. Try this activity at your next professional development meeting.


Typically used as a culminating activity, this strategy divides teachers into two groups in order to compete to see which team is first to complete an acrostic related to the content. It typically requires high energy and leaves teachers feeling good, laughing, and eagerly looking to see what their team was able to accomplish.


  1. Secure chart paper and markers prior to your professional development day.
  2. Brainstorm key terms, words or ideas that are related to the content.
  3. Choose a key term or phrase that is important for teachers to remember.
  4. Use that key term or phrase to create an acrostic that will be written vertically down the left hand side of the chart paper. Write the same information on each chart. For example, for a PD day focused on integrating technology in the classroom, you can use "technology" as the keyword.
  5. Divide the staff into two teams and hand each team a marker.
  6. When cued, a teacher from each group races up to the chart and writes a word related to the content that begins with one of the letters in the words "technology." For example, they may write Twitter next to the letter t or curation next to the letter c.
  7. The marker is then handed to another person in the group, who then races up to the chart to complete another letter in the acrostic. This process is repeated until all teachers have had the chance to add an idea. The first team to complete the acrostic wins.
  8. When both teams have completed their charts, show the entire staff what both groups completed and look for commonalities.

It can be difficult for teachers to focus for very long if all they're required to do is sit and listen (much like students!). This tip is a great exercise to start any PD day by re-energizing your staff and getting them ready to learn. This can also be used as a great team-building activity, or to break up sessions during a PD day.


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