Monday, May 26, 2014

Making It Until the End of the Year

In most districts, the countdown to summer vacation has begun.  This is the time of year when student misbehavior tends to peak as they anticipate less severe consequences due to your fatigue.  Here are some tips to maintain student momentum during this time of year.
  • Begin Experimenting: Remember those cool ideas that you saw on someone's blog or learned about at a PD session, but were reluctant to try due to competing instructional priorities?  Now is the perfect time to try those things.  This time of year is less stressful and changing things up a bit will keep the students on their toes.
  • Consider Trying Projects: Project-based learning is a new and upcoming education term. Having students work on engaging projects has several benefits, one of the most important being that they do most of the work.  I've engaged my students in several project-based learning activities during this time of year.  They were so busy learning that they forgot to complain about having to learn in late May and early June.  Here's some more information:  
  • Read Something Fun: Regardless of which subject you teach, you can further engage your students through fun and interesting text selections.  It can be a play, folktale or news story about a gross scientific discovery.  
  • Write Something Fun: If you're not able to find fun and interesting text selections, perhaps you can have your students create some.  Why not send the students home with a class-produced newspaper that highlights all of this year's activities?  Maybe the students can write and perform a play about a historical or scientific event.    
  • Keep Teaching: My students know that instruction will take place in my room regardless of which date the calendar claims it is.  Avoid the temptation to be that teacher that shows movies all day (out of an academic context) just because it's the end of the year.  
  • Check Your Expectations: Students adjust their behavior to our expectations.  Beginning a class by stating, "Hey, I know you don't want to be here, I don't either, but...." sends the clear message that you do not expect the class to go well.  In return, the students will not give you their best effort or any effort at all. Make sure that you maintain your expectations during this trying time, even if deep down, you're really not feeling it.

                                                 Don't let this be your classroom


  1. I especially like the second to last one....keep teaching. So long as the school doors are open, it is our duty to teach. We usually play board games (of educational value) in ESL class and most kids thank me for not playing a movie. Have a great summer!

  2. I agree with you about the movies. Most years, the students will confess that they are tired of watching movies all day. Enjoy your summer!