Spring is in the air, and as temperatures rise, students’ attentiveness falls. This presents a challenge for educators, as the last few months before summer break are critical for consolidating concepts learned throughout the year. Trying some new strategies to engage students can alleviate spring fever in the classroom.
Take A Hike
When the weather gets warmer, take advantage of students’ antsiness to go on a nature walk as part of science class. Even in urban environments, a walk can provide fantastic opportunities for students to observe the world around them. Challenge your class to count 10 different types of animals, plants, or insects. If age appropriate, you can provide a field reference that allows them to identify trees or birds in their environment. Taking a nature walk can provide a way to tie in your most recent science lessons in a way that is impactful and helps your students burn off extra energy.
Play Classroom Games
When spring fever hits, it’s time to commit more fully to making learning fun. During math time, consider doing head-to-head mental math challenges. Two students face off to see who can answer a math question fastest. The winner goes on to face the next student in the class, until someone has made it around the entire classroom. Doing a game of Jeopardy or a similar game can also be fun ways to review facts for a particular subject area. Be creative, and offer rewards to students for answering questions.
Create a Capstone Project
For much of the year, students sit through rote instruction to ensure they meet curricular requirements. The end of the year is a great time for them to demonstrate their knowledge through a capstone project. For example, a social studies capstone could involve students breaking into groups to research an American Indian tribe or other cultural group. Groups can apply their knowledge by investigating cultural practices, representative art from that culture, or the history of the group. They can present the project to the entire class, incorporating concepts learned from their social studies class throughout the year.
Have A Quick Dance Party
With more and more of the school day being devoted to instruction, many students do not get as much recess time as they used to. Without this physical outlet, it can be difficult for young students to sit still and focus, especially in the afternoon. If you sense your class becoming distracted, have a five-minute dance party. Play some fun music and encourage students to dance out their jitters. After just a few minutes of dancing, your students will be able to refocus for the next lesson.