Everybody is creative. It is the degree of creativity that makes us different. I have been contemplating how to keep children creative in the last few weeks of school. The last weeks of school everything is winding down and things are coming to a close. Students begin to focus on what they want to do in the summer, and not so much on the assignment they have to do at the moment. So I thought I would discuss a couple different ways you can keep your students creative.
Change of Class Venue.
When the weather is nice, the sun shinning, and the cool breeze is blowing the sweet smell of freshly cut grass or fresh flowers, I take my classes out into the courtyard, or the open field, or under the old oak tree and have class. I have a 3 x 4 whiteboard that I carry out to the place where I am having class and we get into our classroom mode.
At first, the students will not focus on what we are doing. They will look around and want to play on the playground or watch cars drive by. So I try to do some short activities that first draw upon that. I start out my saying, “I-Spy with my little eye something…” and have the students look for what ever I described. This gets the students looking for details outside, and they can begin to get the “looks and stares” out of their system. Once we have this little game finished, which took about 5-10 minutes we would start class.
If taking your students outside, the one piece of advise I would give you is to make sure the students have something hard to write on. The ground isn’t that good. If you are like us, we have grated top tables which have wholes and isn’t good for writing on either.
So how can changing the classroom venue help students help students stay creative? My answer to that is, students at the end of the year are not focused on their setting. They are used to be in the classroom everyday.They have been in there for some 150 or so days. The last few weeks of school take a day and change the venue. It doesn’t have to be outside. It could be in the library or the cafeteria. This changes the environment. Sometimes just changing the venue changes your lesson or activity into something that is different.
No hand-out Lessons but Hands-on Lessons
At the end of the year students and teachers can get burned out. So I would suggest, that you do some lessons that are more hands-on, or exploratory in nature. Get away from doing boring hand outs and keep doing exciting hands-on activities. If you can get some movement in your lessons that would help as well.
Develop lessons that are designed to challenge their thinking. I would add some lessons that reinforce free-thinking. That could be writing lessons, some current science problems that are going on. Encourage students to think outside the box, and give them opportunities to that.
Overall. use the end of year to show kids that there still time for learning. Try some new things, and allow the students to use that excitement of the upcoming summer in the classroom.