Getting through that Summertime Slog!
As you find the summer holidays quickly approaching, you may find the focus in your lessons dwindling. Even the pupils who lead by example have a hard time sitting still and following instructions when they know that in a mere few days they will be free to schedule their own activities, and adventure with their friends – and let’s be honest, you are feeling exactly the same way!
Many teachers use the last week of school to wind down. Their classrooms are cleared, cleaned and prepared for transitioning, class projects are long since wrapped up, library books returned. Naturally, the setting feels less structured; and while it may seem tempting, the last thing you should do is turn on a film and disengage from learning.
Now more than ever is it important for you to keep your energy and focus – to help harness your pupils’ excitement and transform it into something productive.
The last week of education is just as important, if not more, than the first. This is your last chance to re-enforce that learning can be exciting, and fun! The impression you leave your pupils with in their final week of the academic year will fuel their feelings for the next – so it is imperative that you focus on leaving them on a high note.
We’ve compiled some of our go to suggestions to help you achieve just that. The following are 3 tips that we love for helping to keep energy, and focus, throughout the last few days of an academic year.
Create a short term project.
Your classroom might be packed up, but that doesn’t mean your lesson planning should be! Short term projects are a great way to build excitement around a topic. We suggest picking something you’ve learned throughout the school year and creating a challenge for your pupils that requires minimal resources. Ie. Writing and performing a play about a certain topic, re-writing the words to a pop song about something they’ve enjoyed learning, creating their own educational crossword puzzles, ect.
These kind of activities can do a world of wonders for helping children retain the information they are studying, and will also have some surprising and invaluable benefits, such as helping to enhance their teambuilding, leadership, communication, public speaking and problem solving skills.
Give them time to talk.
Excitement levels are high, and your pupils are going to want to share their holiday plans with you, and their classmates. Rather than trying to abolish the conversations altogether, try creating rules to help facilitate them. Start by giving your pupils 2 – 3 minutes to discuss their holidays with you, and their peers, for a designated time during a chosen lesson. Use a sand timer, or digital classroom timer, to stay on track. This way, you are creating boundaries that allow them to express their excitement, while still respecting your rules – a compromise that leaves you in control at all times. Investing a few minutes in this activity can save you much more time throughout your lesson and will help strengthen the connection you have with your pupils.
Turn it into a game.
You can turn almost anything into a game – so why not transform their last week of learning into a collection of them? All you need is to pick a subject, create a few parameters, set a goal, and you have yourself a new game! It really is as simple as that. Bonus points if you can provide prizes for your pupils.
Kids are competitive by nature and will love this approach. From educational bingo, to mathematic quizzes using sports balls, to drama games with academic themes – your pupils will appreciate the change of gear and will feel like they are being rewarded regardless of how difficult, or silly, the activity is.
There you have it! Our favourite ways to help you get through the last few days. What do you think? If you have any suggestions or tips that you’d like to pass on, we would love to hear from you!
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