6 Tips and 9 Awesome Practices for Teachers to Play Scoot in the Classroom

Are you looking for a fun way to engage students in learning? If so, you’ll want to give Scoot a try. Scoot is an engaging question and answer game that can be used with children of all ages in just about any subject area.

6 Tips and 9 Best Practices for Teachers to Play Scoot in the Classroom

Sound exciting? Want to learn more? Continue reading to learn more about how Scoot works, management tips for using it with your students, and some ideas for integrating Scoot into your classroom.

How Does Scoot Work?

Scoot is a fun and engaging question and answer activity that is played by the whole class.

Step 1: Teachers place a question card on each student desk and students move from desk to desk to answer the question or solve the problem on the card. Scoot can be used with any subject and students of all ages, making it a versatile tool to have in your arsenal. It is also very motivating for students, so they are likely to stay engaged and on-task.

How Does Scoot Work?

Step 2: To play Scoot, each desk must have a number. Students will move in order from desk 1, to desk 2, to desk 3, and so on. Teachers can decide on the layout that works best from their students, and may choose to separate desks into individual rows and columns, or have them put together in smaller groups. If you want students to take the activity more seriously and be able to better concentrate, having the desks space out away from one another is probably best. When students get to a desk, the question should be covered by the desk number. This will make it appear more “secret” to keep students motivated.

Step 3: Each student should be given an answer sheet with a box for each desk number. When students solve a problem, they should write their answer in the corresponding box. For example, the answer for desk number 17 should go in box number 17. The layout and size of your answer sheet should match the age of your students, the complexity of the required answer, and the amount of time students will be given at each station.

How Does Scoot Work?

Step 4: As the teacher, you’ll want to pre-determine how much time you want to give students for each station. Provide sufficient time to answer the question, but limit it enough that students see the need to stay on task to make sure they finish. Once the time is up either say “Scoot,” ring a bell, or use an online timer to tell students to move to their next station.

You can continue playing Scoot with your students until each student has visited each desk, time has run out, or you think your students have had enough. At the end of Scoot, take a few minutes to review the answers for each question or problem so students can check their work.

Management Tips for Playing Scoot

Scoot can be very engaging for students, but without proper management, it can cause a classroom to slide into chaos. Use these management tips to make sure your students are able to enjoy playing Scoot, while also ensuring that each student is able to focus on their tasks and meet your learning objectives for the activity. If you have classroom management problems, you can take courses to improve your skills.

1. Set the Expectation for Silence

As we shared above, Scoot can easily get out of hand. One way to keep it from doing so is to set the expectation that students must be absolutely silent as they play Scoot.

Set the Expectation for Silence

Since students enjoy Scoot so much, they should be motivated to remain quiet during the game, but if need be, end the game if students start taking to show you’re serious. Then, you can pick it back up later that day or another day. After one or two times of realizing they won’t be able to play if they talk, students will quickly comply with the silence rule.

2. Create a Signal

Having a clear code word or sound when it is time for students to move to the next desk is important. You may choose to say “scoot,” or you might decide to use a countdown timer with an alarm sound. Either choice is fine, as long as you stay consistent so students know what to listen for.

3. Give Clear Directions and Answer Questions Before Starting

Making sure students are clean on how to play Scoot before you actually start the activity is essential. Spend a lot of time going over the directions to make sure students know where they’re start, which direction they’re moving, and where they should record their answers.

Give Clear Directions and Answer Questions Before Starting

Since answers should be written in the box that corresponds with their desk number, most students will not be writing their first answer in box 1. The first few times you play the game, take time to check with each student about where their first answer should be recorded.

Also, set a clear expectation about whether students should take their pencils with them to each desk or leave them and use the pencil that is on each desk they visit. Again, either option is fine, you just want to choose one and make sure students all comply to ensure each student will have a pencil to record their answers.

4. Post a Map

If possible, create a quick map of your classroom with the locations and numbers of each desk. Draw arrows to indicate which direction students should move. As you design the map, consider the flow of the classroom and ways to minimize movement to maintain order.

5. Do a Practice Run Through

Before starting your first game of Scoot with your students, take the time to do a quick practice run through to make sure each student is really clear on how the activity will work.

Do a Practice Run Through

Have students practice moving from desk to desk in the correct order when you say the code word or make the alarm sound.

6. Create a Plan for Early Finishers

Finally, be sure to account for students who may finish the task cards before the time is up. You want to make sure these students will remain quiet at the desk they’re supposed to be at. Depending on the age of your students and the specific activity you are doing, you may ask them to write an explanation for how they solve the problem on the back of their answer sheet, create their own problem for another student to solve, draw a picture, or work on something else.

9 Best Practices for Playing Scoot in the Classroom

And now I want to introduce you to the best practices of how you can use Scoot in the classroom. Write in the comments which practices you have tried or which practices you like the most!

1. Complete Puzzles

Scoot can be used to have students solve different puzzles, such as word puzzles or logic puzzles. Place a task card with a different puzzle at each desk and have students write the solution on their answer sheet.

Complete Puzzles

2. Work with a Partner

Instead of having students work independently, you may also choose to have their work and Scoot in pairs. Choose task cards for students to work on together. You may choose to have one student be the recorder, have both students write the answers on their own paper, or have students take turns writing at different stations. Working in pairs can also be useful if you don’t have enough task cards for each student to work on one by themselves.

Work with a Partner

3. Try Mini-Break Cards

If you have more students in your class than task cards, place a few mini-break cards at a few desks in the room. You can choose age-appropriate and quiet tasks that students can do during their mini-break, such as drawing a picture of a specific item, writing words that begin with a specific letter, or writing/drawing about what they plan to do after school.

Try Mini-Break Cards

4. Play Boggle

Boggle is another idea you can try if you have more students than task cards. Create or purchase a Boggle template for each extra desk, and have students record as many words as they can find on the back of their Scoot recording sheet.

Play Boggle

5. Do a Word Search

Word searches can also be used as a desk-filler when you have more students than task cards for a given acidity. Place a word search on the extra desks (or copy one on the back of students’ recording sheets) for students to work on when there isn’t a task card available.

Do a Word Search

6. Work on Art Projects

A final idea if you have fewer task cards than students is to have students work on a class art project at the extra seats. Have supplies out so each student can add their own touch to the class project.

Work on Art Projects

7. Social Distancing Scoot Game

To play Scoot while maintaining social distancing in the classroom, hold up or project each task card one at a time for students to see. Rather than yelling “Scoot,” you may choose to say “stand” to have students stand up and record their answer.

Social Distancing Scoot Game

8. Distance Learning Scoot Game

If you’re teaching virtually, you can still incorporate Scoot into your instruction. Send your students the recording sheet and display the problems or questions one at a time for the whole class. Consider asking students to do a quick movement, such as a jumping jack, between answering questions rather than scooting to the next desk.

Distance Learning Scoot Game

9. Scoot Activities using Seesaw

You can also use Seesaw when playing Scoot. Rather than having your students record their answers using a pencil and paper, have them using either the photo tool or the drawing tool in Seesaw to show their understanding or explain their thinking.

Scoot Activities using Seesaw

Final Thoughts

Scoot can make the mundane task of answering questions or solving problems exciting and engaging for students. Students are motivated by how active Scoot is and the sense of urgency to find the answer to the question placed on each desk, that they’ll hardly believe they are learning or practicing skills. Start by selecting card tasks that match your learning objectives, then get your students ready to play! Are you ready to give Scoot a try? What do you think your students will be most excited about?

Last Updated on April 15, 2021 by Emily

Emily/ author of the article

Emily is an active mother of two and a dedicated elementary school teacher. She believes the latest technology has made a huge impact on the quality of early learning and has worked hard to upgrade her classroom and her own children’s learning experience through technology.
She created this blog to make it easier for other teachers to take advantage of some of the best devices out there to upgrade their classrooms without having to do the research themselves. She loves to hear your tech-based problems and share her extensive experience :)

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