Spring fever is here, and it's taking hold of your students (and you). How do you deal with it? Your kids (at school and likely your own) are so busy with spring sports and activities. These things can drain all of us. Well, I hope I'll have a few ideas that connect with you and help keep you motivated which will help motivate your kids.
I think one of the best ways to keep things fun and fresh is with games. THIS POST includes a few easy to use game suggestions that you can try for review times or for word study. Kids love competition, and games work well for keeping kids engaged. Here are a few free game resources you might find helpful.
USE GOAL SETTING
Another way to keep your kids on track is by setting personal goals. Kids can lose focus on what's important when the routine is disrupted. If we help them set reading and writing goals that they can beat, then they're likely to want to achieve them. I love this project from Ideas from Jivey. I'm thinking it would lead to a great bulletin board (and a reminder to your kids of what they're aiming for).
TURN ON THE MUSIC
You may find your kids feeling a bit more wiggly than the norm, so how about weaving in some music and movement. Go Noodle is pretty popular, and there are quite a few great apps within Go Noodle which work well for reviewing vocabulary and many other academic skills that the teacher can select. Another great way to review with music is with Flocabulary. Flocabulary offers a 30 day trial, so if you haven't explored it, you might find it worth a look. Finally, Songs for Teaching is a site you might check out. [HERE] is a link to a great list of math songs.
Fresh air does the body good. Sometimes changing up the setting for learning makes a difference. Incorporate things like sidewalk chalk, exploration, experiments, and even moving task cards out to new place. Kids love carrying around a clipboard with their recording forms. We've had a lot of success with this IF you can get help for supervision.
KEEP ON TOP OF YOUR PLANS AND ROUTINES
The last tip I have is probably known, but keeping on top of your plans and routines is really important. As the year closes, we all want to start packing up. When we do, kids get the idea that they're done. If we can keep to quality lessons and structured days, the kids do so much better. At our school, many teachers save the "fun" projects and things we normally don't have time for for the last month of school. Our kids have just completed state testing, so it's a great time for novel studies, end of the year class memory books and projects, and reader's theater. This lapbook project in my store is one I've had fun with. You can use it at either the end of the year for reflections or at the beginning of the year to get to know your students.
The last quarter is a real test of patience sometimes, so we need to hang in there and check our own attitudes. Our kids need lots of positive encouragement and to know that what we're doing is STILL important.