I know that some of you out there may think that the Southwest is always sunshine and warm temperatures. But the fall in New Mexico can get quite windy and cold. There were many days when the alternative to being outside was a small inside classroom space. I had to get creative on how to have 20 plus kiddos active in a tight area. My answer was Cupstacking.
Cupstacking or Speedstacking has become an International sport and competition. There are regional and national competitions held each year. Cupstacking uses a set of twelve cups that are stacked and unstacked in various patterns. You can do the stacking timed or untimed. The sport has become so sophisticated that you can purchase timing mats that you place your hands on. As soon as your hands lift up, the timer starts, when you finish, put your hands back down and the timer stops.
Check out this video of Speedstacking to get an idea of this activity:

SpeedStacking

Bob Fox, the creator of Speedstacks, helped me get started. He was at conferences across the United States. He would give you a set of cups for coming to his session. I eventually purchased enough cups so that all my students could have a set to use. And then I purchased the timing mats.

What struck me was noticing the students who had a lack of bilateral body movement. As you watch the video, you see the student taking cups with both their right and left simultaneously. I would observe students who would pick up cups with only one hand. When I would point out that they should use both hands, they would pass the cup to the dominant hand to place on the stack. It is quite interesting to observe. It also suggests a lack of pathways and crossover from one side of the brain to the other for this child. I would point this out to their homeroom teacher and suggest this as a regular activity that could help improve the bilateral activity and improve reading.

As the students understood the basic patterns, we would begin working on fitness stacking. You can find tons of lesson ideas here:
www.speedstacks.com

Check out the products in our latest catalog at www.sportime.com.

Happy stacking!

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Comment by Kyle Lindblom on January 13, 2012 at 9:05pm

My students love to stack! If I ever have to be int he classroom, stacking is what we will do! I don't go deep into it such as competitions. I'll have them pass the timers around as there aren't enough for everyone! But they enjoy it! Specially the activities in the gym where they down stack the other teams and bring it back to their side. So many great things to do!

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