How To Thrive During the Last Months of School08:21
It's the middle of April. I'm exhausted. The students are exhausted. We are all exhausted. It's around this time that the going gets tough. Real tough. It is important to finish the year strong and I'm sharing 3 ways to help!
#1 Stay Consistent!
Yes, I know you have all kinds of special activities going on. Field day, plays, presentations, etc. However, you still have a lot of time in your classroom. Young children NEED routine and consistency. Make sure you are sticking to your schedule when you are in the classroom!
This goes for teaching style! If you prefer to learn in small groups and centers, keep doing small groups and centers. Throwing a bunch of worksheets at students not used to doing worksheets will create problems. On the flip side, if worksheet type assignments are the norm, keep doing them! Throwing brand new center activities at kids will lead to chaos and confusion.
#2 Increase positive attention, recognition and rewards!
In the spring, I work really hard at ignoring some of the small (annoying) behaviors and publicly praising students on task. I heard a quote once that said "Praise given publicly is praise multiplied." Giving your student specific praise will help students continue following directions AND motivate others to fix their mistakes.
A few weeks ago, we had a class meeting and created a list of rewards students wanted to learn. The biggest request? Positive notes and phone calls home! So we made a 'deal'. For every 20 points students earn on Dojo, they receive a phone call or note home.
#3 Build in a few extra breaks!
I find that as summer draws near, attention spans start to shorten. Give students a chance to regroup with a little brain break.
One of my students favorite brain break is one we call growing a tree. Students kneel down in a little ball, like a seed. Slowly, they stand up straight and tall like a tree trunk. Extending their arms upwards or to the side creates tree branches. When all the "trees" are finished growing, I announce a wind storm. First,it's a gentle breeze and barely ruffles our leaves (fingers). Then it grows into fierce winds that bend our branches. After the wind storm, students slowly sink back into seeds and sit back down on the floor ready to learn.
by Crystal @Primary on the Prowl