TPTs Involving Movement Celebrate Learning Together

TPTs Involving Movement

Various brain research suggests that movement is inescapably linked to learning and memory. Hence, teachers must design lessons that are both experiential and kinesthetic. Teachers should release the students from passive learning posture – glued to their seats, listening to teachers rattle their lessons in front by asking questions and making them answer worksheets, disengage with whatever is happening in the class, with decreased oxygen in their brains – and engage them physically and creatively with what they are learning.

The Total Participation Techniques (TPTs) provide activities where students will be manipulating objects or be out of their seats interacting and processing their learning together.

The TPTs that involve movements are as follows:

  1. Line-Ups and Inside-Outside Circles
  2. Three 3’s in a Row
  3. Networking Sessions
  4. Categorizing and Sorting
  5. Appointment Agendas
  6. Bounce Cards
  7. Mouth It, Air-Write It, or Show Me Using Your Fingers
  8. Acting It Out, Role-Plays, and Concept Charades
  9. Simulations
  10. Cut-and-Pastes
  11. TPTs During the Read-Aloud

I will concentrate in one of the TPTs that I personally find engaging to students and applicable to all age levels – Three 3’s in a Row.

Three 3’s in a Row (Himmele & Himmele, 2009) is an activity like Bingo, in which students interact with peers and get the peer’s feedback on what they should write in the boxes of their template.

What Makes It Fascinating

  • Students choose to answer what they feel most comfortable with, allowing other students to get the opinions from “peer experts.”
  • All students, experts or not, are required to process the questions in the nine boxes.
  • It provides the teacher with quick assessment feedback. The teacher simply walks around and observe the boxes that are not answered by most of the students.
  • It leads to great conversations and sharing of ideas wherein students can think critically (when the right questions are asked).

How It Works

  1. Prepare nine questions based on the content being learned and type them in Three 3s in a Row template.
  2. Students walk around the room asking peers to explain one answer (only one answer) to them.
  3. Students summarize their peer’s responses in the box. Emphasize to the students at the beginning of the activity that they need to write the responses of their peers themselves. Students must listen to each other, process the responses of their peers, and record their understanding of their peers’ responses.
  4. Students find another peer to answer another question and repeat the process. Students cannot ask two questions a single person to ensure that they are going around while the activity is being done.
  5. Go over the answers to the questions by asking volunteers to share their responses.

Sample Three 3’s in a Row template: I used my topic in class “Macbeth” Act 1 Scene 1 – 3

How to Ensure Higher Order Thinking

Your activity is only as good as the questions you prepare. Not all your questions need to answer higher order thinking, but make sure to add some big questions where students will analyze, synthesize, and evaluate. You can also think outside the classroom in making questions. Ask them the implications of the concepts they are learning for the larger world outside their classroom or for their personal worlds.

Three 3’s in a Row can provide a wonderful opportunity for students to interact and learn together. It takes a little time to prepare this TPT technique. All you need to think about is the questions you’ll ask the students to answer. So as you prepare your next lesson, why not try and incorporate this technique. Please do give us feedback after your try it. We would love to hear your stories.



TFT will also host its first ever Professional Development Workshop for teachers.  As we will be opening a tutorial center, it will be held there. The name of the tutorial center is Bruner Learning Hub located in Maly, San Mateo.

There will be two sessions for it:

1st part, August 5, Saturday:
We’ll introduce the need for TPTS and then learn about total participation techniques (TPT), in particular, On-the-spot TPTs and TPT holds up.
2nd part, August 19, Saturday:
We’ll learn TPTs that involve movement and how we can use TPTs for notetaking and concept analysis.

If you’re interested, please fill in your details in this google form. We will email you with more details and how to reserve your slot. Thank you for interest and support! 🙂

Don’t delay as the early bird promo only applies this month!

Argee Abadines
Argee Abadines is the founder and chief content engineer of this website. He is a brain based educator and his educational interests are pedagogy, higher order thinking, creativity, and educational technology. He is also the founder of Bruner Learning Hub. He currently teaches high school business studies and economics. Previously, he taught English to primary students. He reads up regularly about trends in education and online media. You can visit his personal blog at

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