Teachers, are you trying to survive those last few weeks of school? Do your students think that learning is 'over' because the test is done? Are you looking for ideas to improve behavior and keep students engaged? You've come to the right place. Here are 4 tips for ending the year like a boss!
- Just. Keep. Teaching.—The best way to keep your students on task and out of trouble is to run your classroom like you always have. Stick with your schedule and make sure that the lesson content is keeping your kiddos challenged. Remember, if you’re a 4th grade teacher, you have a room full of almost 5th graders. Don’t be afraid to introduce more difficult concepts. Consider looking at next year’s standards for your subject. When I told my students we were going to do 6th grade science stuff so they would be ahead next year, they instantly perked up.
- Build Units Around Student Interests—Nothing gives students more buy-in than letting them choose what will be taught. After our state science test we had a class discussion about what we learned in science this year and made a list of things we still wanted to learn about. I built units around a few of those topics and my students couldn’t be happier.
- Start Fun Friday Afternoons—Make a list of a few fun activities and post it in the room. These can be academic or creative thinking activities. For example, you could include a reader’s theater day, owl pellet lab, math-a-thon (online math games), gooey science lab, poetry slam, geography-a-thon (online geography games), and a Greek mythology art project. Tell students they must earn X points as a class to earn a Fun Friday reward and give points throughout the week. If they reach the point goal (and they will), choose an activity and enjoy!
- Teach Essential Skills—Use these last few weeks to teach something that may have been pushed to the side earlier in the year. For example, teach cursive, creative writing, or geography. Oh, and math facts. Don’t let students leave your grade without knowing their math facts! Seriously. You can set them up for success in the next grade if you give them time to master this before the end of the year.
Summer is almost here. Finish strong. I have faith in you. You can do it!
--The Pensive Sloth