Every teacher knows that come May: the struggle is real. The students’ engagement is very low and we are trying to keep their energy under control. Their minds are already transitioning into summer mode and the days seem extra long.
It may seem impossible to keep your students’ attention during the months of May and June. Luckily, I’ve got some ideas that will help keep your engagement high and behaviors at bay.
Project-Based Learning or STEM activities
At the end of the year, students are ready to step up to the plate and showcase all their hard work. A project is a great way to allow students to take ownership in their learning. I love incorporating STEM activities that encourage thinking outside the box and possibly a friendly competition, which I will talk more about below. One of my favorite activities is to build the tallest tower using mini marshmallows, dried spaghetti and tape.
Take your learning outside
The warm and sunny weather is a huge source of disinterest from your students at the end of the school year. No problem! Take your learning outside. Have a read aloud under a shady tree, take clipboards out to do your math work, or even start a class garden! If you’ve read this post, I gave you some awesome ways to take the learning outside. It has tons of ideas for you to take your students outside and still continue the learning. Go check it out here!
The end of the year is a great time to review the skills from the entire year, especially if your school does end-of-the-year assessments. It’s super easy to create Jeopardy games on this website. You can even search for pre-made Jeopardy boards. This would work extremely well if you have a substitute in your classroom! If you want to read more about how to plan for a substitute at the end of the year, read more about that here.
Moving Up Day
Does your school do a moving up day? This is a day where students get to go “visit” their teacher for the upcoming year. It builds a lot of excitement because they get a chance to “experience” the new grade and teacher for the day. In preparation for this, I have my current students write a letter to the incoming students on the “Top Things You Should Know About Second Grade.” They love this. The best part: it keeps them writing!
Well, there you have it! I hope these ideas will help keep the last few weeks or days of your school year fun and fresh.
How are you feeling at the end of the year? Stressed? Overwhelmed? Ready? We are almost there! Hang in there, teacher friend!