Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Action Cup!

The action cup is one of my favorite routines!

I use the action cup in so many ways!  I have an "Action Cup Helper" as a job.  Each time we transition from one activity to the next, or from our carpet seats to our chairs, the action cup helper picks a student to choose an action, then the entire class does that action while they move to the next activity.

I also use the action cup to work on counting and skip counting daily during morning meeting.  The morning helper brings the cup to all of the boys or all of the girls to pick various actions to do while they count aloud.

I also love to use this to reinforce art topics... I'll have the action up helper decide what the "colors" for the day will be: primary colors, secondary colors, warm colors, or cool colors!

I start off the year with only a handful of actions in the cup, then add more throughout the year.

Every once in a while, I have the class pick new actions to add to the cup.  Here are the actions that were in my cup at the end of the year:

  • brush your teeth
  • clap your hands
  • cry like a baby
  • dance
  • do bell jumps (forward and back)
  • do criss-cross jumps
  • do jumping jacks
  • do outer space jumps
  • do ski jumps
  • do squats
  • do the disco dance
  • do toe taps
  • fly like a jet
  • gallop like a horse
  • growl
  • hop like a bunny
  • hop on one foot
  • howl like a wolf
  • jump like a frog
  • laugh
  • march
  • melt like ice
  • pop like popcorn
  • pretend to be a bird
  • pretend to build a house with sticks
  • pretend to climb a ladder
  • pretend to drive a car
  • pretend to eat
  • pretend to jump rope
  • pretend to read a book
  • pretend to swim
  • pretend to take a test
  • pretend to throw a ball
  • pretend your arms are spaghetti
  • pretend your legs are spaghetti
  • run in place
  • sit down
  • snarl like a dog
  • stomp like a dinosaur
  • stomp your feet
  • touch you leg
  • touch your arm
  • touch your back
  • touch your chin
  • touch your ears
  • touch your elbows
  • touch your eyebrows
  • touch your eyes
  • touch your hair
  • touch your head
  • touch your knees
  • touch your mouth
  • touch your nose
  • touch your shoes
  • touch your shoulders
  • touch your stomach
  • touch your toes
  • tremble
  • waddle like a duck
  • waddle like a penguin
  • walk like a dog
  • wiggle

I'd love to hear some new ideas for actions... leave a comment if you think of something I missed!


  1. I like this idea! It's a good way to incorporate a movement break in a way that's quick! I don't think I'll get around to creating an action cup, but I think I'll give directions like "Hop back to your seat and work on page 13."
    Thanks for sharing!
    Bee Teaches

    1. I do that sometimes too ! I like the cup because I can make the kids be in charge of it... My forgetful mind sometimes forgets to give them an action, but when it's one of the student's jobs to get the cup you can bet they never forget!

  2. What a clever idea - I will tweet your blog post to my followers, they will love it too! Thanks so much for sharing!
    Monkeying Around With Technology

  3. This is a clever idea. I'll give it a try with my first graders. Any chance they get to get our their wiggles is a good one!

    1. So true! That's exactly why I love it!

  4. I am soo glad that I saw this!! Awesome idea :-) especially when you have a bunch of wiggle worm kiddos!!

    1. A true! Even the ones who aren't wiggle worms are just little worms holding in their wiggles! :)

  5. Walk like an Egyptian might be fun! These are great!

    1. I am definitely adding that to my cup!

  6. I love this idea!! I going to try this out with my Kindergarten class this year. Thanks!!

  7. Love this... I also spiced it up for different seasons... We just added walk like Frankenstein and gobble like a turkey!!

  8. Thank you so much! We will be using some of these during our Fundations lessons. Currently, our favorite movement is "Washing Machines" :-)