5 Ways to Move in Math

In this post, we’ll explore 5 ways to get your students moving and engaged in math.

Explore 5 Ways to Move in Math blog post; group of middle school students working together

It's so important to give kids the opportunity to move around! After all, who likes sitting still all day? As a teacher, I always made sure to incorporate movement into my math class, and I think my students enjoyed it even more than I did. It's not just elementary school students who benefit from physical activity, middle schoolers do too!

Here are 5 ways to move in math:


1) Play Trashketball - This combines sitting to work the problems and moving when it is time to shoot baskets. Group students into partners or small teams. Show some problems on the board/screen. Students solve and have you check. The number of shooting opportunities is based on the position they finished in (ex: 1st place - 3 shots, 2nd place - 2 shots, 3rd place - 1 shot). Be sure everyone gets a turn to shoot for points!

Math Tag

2) Math Tag - Nope, not play outside chasing each other tag. Math tag is a relay game where students are grouped into teams. Math problems are placed on the other end of the room/gym/measured space outside. Partners race down, solve a math problem on the sheet, and race back to tag the next partner team. This is great to do in a large space or outside but can be accomplished in the room by clearing desks out of the way.

Math Musical Chairs

3) Musical Chairs - Circle up the chairs and place math problems on each chair. Play some music and have the students move around. When the music stops, they have a seat and solve the problem. I never removed chairs and just continued to play until the time was up. You can remove chairs if you want for a little more competition.

Math Around the Room Task Cards

4) Around the Room - Hang up math problems (task cards are great for this activity) around the room and have students move around answering them.

Math Partner Match Ups

5) Partner Match Ups - For this movement activity, you will need matching cards (ex: word/definition, word/picture, problem/answer, problems with the same answer, etc.). Give each student a card and have them find their match.

I have a Partner Match Up freebie that you can download here. Students solve the adding or subtracting decimals problem and find a partner with the same answer.

Explore 5 Ways to Move in Math blog post; image of Partner Match Up cards

It's time to get your students moving in math!

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Explore 5 Ways to Move in Math blog post; group of middle school students working together