It seems to me the last third of the school year can go so slow. Students are feelings the effects of Spring Break, and looking forward to summer vacation. Teachers are stressed to make sure the curriculum gets covered before the state exams.
There are a few things I do to get out of the funk, and finish the school year strong.
1. Short Fun Activities: I like to add some short activities every so often just to break up the monotony of the classroom. Sometimes I will do a short little game where students have to move around. Sometimes I do a trivia games where students have to complete tasks to answer the questions. Generally these last about 10-15 minutes.
2. Genius Hour: This year I am adding in Genius Hour. This is giving the students a little bit of time to work on something they are interested in. This is a great concept.
3. Change Scenery: When the weather is nice take your class out side, or teach your class down in the library. Sometimes just changing where you teach can help with rejuvenating your class. Now, I don’t do this too often. I do it when I know that my students will appreciate it.
4. Guest Speakers: Guest Speakers are awesome. When it presents itself, bring in a guest speaker. Having a someone from the community come in and speak to your students about a topic you are covering. The expereience can be great. Especially, when they are the role-playing a famous person, like a president or a Civil War solider
5. Mystery Skype/Google Hangout: Sometimes surprising your students with a Mystery Skype or Google Hangout can be so much fun. You need to make sure you practice how to conduct one of these before you surprise your students. But, having students get the chance to talk about the same topics with another class or expert can be an awesome experience.
6. Music: I have a colleague who uses music in their class. They create songs with some of the topics they are studying. Here is a YouTube channel that incorporates music and history. Doing some parodies of songs with your content created and performed by your students can be so much fun.
These are just a few things that I have done and do to help rejuvenate my students and myself for the end of the year. What do you do? What has worked? What hasn’t worked?