Do your students suffer from Summer-itis? Think: Senioritis (the decline of motivation felt by seniors in high school and college), but can touch just about anyone still in school when summer is right around the corner.
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We’re halfway through April, so summer is fast approaching! Once standardized tests are through and the weather gets warmer, it’s difficult for students to stay focused and motivated. Luckily, this time of year comes with ample opportunity for fun educational activities that are sure to keep your students interested. Here are 5 ways to combat Summer-itis in the classroom!
Virtual field trips
Did you know the Metropolitan Museum of Art has a specific online program for kids? It has a tour, informational videos, and a fun time machine aspect that will make any history lesson more exciting. Focusing on US geography? The National Park Service has webcams broadcasting National Parks live, so you can watch at any time, from anywhere in the world. You can even take your students to Mars!
On those extra nice days, take class outside! Students learning grammar can explore the outdoors with a “noun, verb, adjective” scavenger hunt, math problems can be literally drawn out with chalk, and even reading time can be taken to a comfy patch of grass! Bringing class outside is sure to be a great change of pace for your students, and everyone will feel refreshed after being in the sun!
Reward the behavior you want to see from your students with positive reinforcement. 10 more minutes of recess, movie time, or a pizza party; there are plenty of ways to encourage students to reach their reading goals, complete their homework, or any other goals that may be harder to achieve with a bad case of Summer-itis.
Host reflection exercises
To end the year with a social-emotional learning exercise, give your students writing prompts that ask them to reflect on their growth over the past year. They can be as simple as “my favorite memory from this year is… because…”. You can also challenge them with more honest prompts like “a problem I faced was… but I fixed it by…”. Allowing them to reflect on their mental growth will leave them feeling proud and fulfilled with the past year, and give them that extra boost to get through the final weeks of school.
Rearrange their desks!
You’ve probably done it a million times over the past year, but the change in environment is actually proven to increase motivation and get students paying attention again. They’re trying to get used to their new view in the classroom, so their brain is taking in more information! You can even start doing this more frequently when you start to feel their attention drift away again. Even mid-lesson!