Looking to keep students on task as summer calls? We have ideas!
Spring smells good. It just smells clean. Especially after a long winter, spent indoors, spring promises… summer.
For students, that signals that summer break is arriving. If you are teaching, you will see students squirming and yearning for outdoors. You still have months of teaching! Lesson plans, activities, vocabulary—lots of learning left! It can feel as though you and your students are on different pages. We’ve all been there. It’s a struggle.
We’ve got ideas though, and not just me, because ALL teachers need to motivate students as the school year comes to a close. Here is a group of ways to keep students on task:
Looking for teacher approved ideas to keep your students on task when summer calls? Read on and discover what works for these experienced teachers.
Ms. F. gives three specific ideas to keep students engaged as the weather warms up!
First and most importantly, it’s important to KEEP TEACHING. As soon as you act as if the semester or year is over… read more here.
Education With Doc Running approaches those increased, spring-inspired absences that come with nice weather. What’s a teacher to do with more students missing class?
Spring Fever is here! And with that I have had just a few more absences… read more here.
Addie Education gets her students moving with a sticky note, vocabulary studying, movement inspired game.
Using sticky notes, I write as many vocabulary words as I can from our unit of study… read more here.
Julie Faulkner is the poster-teacher for engaged students. She has multiple tips for keeping students on task when the weather heats up. First, when she notices kids gazing out the window during class, she takes them outside for a project like a spring literacy inspired photo challenge.
She also recognizes that interaction of some sort is a staple for just about every day in my classroom to reinforce, review, or revitalize a lesson… read more here.
My ideas? Taking students outside whenever possible helps. I have taken students outside and still completed work with these ten activities:
- Map characters with sidewalk chalk.
- Draw inspiration for creative writing from the beauty of outdoors. Ask students to focus on one object – an animal, the sun, tree, grass, etc.
- Make the mundane happier. Vocabulary test coming up: studying with flashcards? Partner students and let them study outside.
- Stretch your coursework. I teach ELA but love including art as an expression of students’ written word, or as an extension activity. For example when I teach “Julius Caesar,” my students make puppets to act out the more difficult scenes. Creating puppets outside allows students to find new (and free!) materials to use.
- Read outside. Read to students or allow them to read silently.
- Hold small group discussions. Provide groups with discussion topics and let casual conversation happen.
- Take a difficult topic outside. Something your students struggle to grasp may be easier with a change of scenery.
- Read “outdoors” inspired materials. I typically teach Emerson and Thoreau under a tree.
- Encourage students to physically stretch out while reading or writing. Those growing bodies? They need to move their muscles.
- Play a study game. “Around the world” is a fun game to play outside.
Of course, prepping students before heading outside is key. Explain special rules; you need to see students at all times. Get permission from the principal before you move 20+ students outside. Stress to students that you understand they want to be outside. After all, you probably do too! Students still have assignments to complete and ideas to learn. Going outside is a privilege (and one you’re happy to give them) but they must work. I’ve taken students middle and high school students outside and had great luck. They enjoy it and want to go again.
Hopefully as the weather turns beautiful, these tips will keep your students focused so learning stays on track. How do you keep your students on task when summer calls?