We have two whole school end-of-the-year activities. A Track and Field Day-students select and participate in a variety of activities based on grade level including running races, throwing softball, soccer kicks, jumping rope, high jump, etc. Students are asked to participate in a least two events of their choice. Parents and grandparents co…[Read more]
Different ideas, solutions to problems and questions have come up in some of our recent staff meetings. Our school has never had a big end of the year meeting but it is something I think would be good to implement. I’ve started to write down the ideas and questions from the teachers that need to be addressed the beginning of next school year and…[Read more]
I like the idea of including a community activity of helping others in your end of the year party, Betty. In the past with my elementary classes we had a small “awards” party at the end of the year highlighting character traits I appreciated in each of the students throughout the year. This year I have thought of several ideas for the end of th…[Read more]
When a student who usually does well on tests bombs a test I often ask myself some questions-Was there another stress in the student’s life? Did the student just not care? Did I teach the lesson in a method that students could understand the content? Based on the answers to these questions I will sometimes allow the student to retake the test…[Read more]
We have a short period after lunch, 15 minutes, when high school students are encouraged to read a chapter book of their choice. I try to keep books available in the classroom or at times I will assign books for them to read. The room is furnished with a few soft chairs and comfortable seats for the students to use when reading.
A few of our students really do need that outward, tangible motivation (such as the pizza game) before they will begin to take personal responsibility to do what is expected. It can be difficult to know how to implement these motivational activities in a class of students with variety of needs and skills but sometimes implementing a small…[Read more]
Our senior class hosts a haystack supper in the fall and a sub fundraiser, similar to what Jonas discussed, each spring. The sub fundraiser is a very successful annual fundraiser for our senior class and school. The seniors contact local businesses and deliver the subs. Grades 7-12 prepare the subs the morning of the fundraiser. I can see…[Read more]
Several high school students are interested in taking a sign language course as a high school elective. The students have access to community resources for the class, but we need a core curriculum for the class. Does anyone have recommendations for curriculum (books or an online class) or any experience in offering this class as an elective?
We practiced “good listening” skills last week in an elementary class. I let them know what my expectations were for listening well and I allowed them to share some ideas too. I also realized that there are times my instructions are rushed and not very clear. The students need to listen well, but I also need to make sure I am giving clear in…[Read more]
It would be nice if we could give instant motivation and desire to the students who want to do the least amount possible, but it takes time and sometimes many tries to reach the students. Providing choices of activities, listening to the students and using their interests to build motivation can be helpful.
I have hosted a “reading day” in the past for 3rd-4th grade. It was not a whole day event, but we read throughout the day for several hours. Students brought in their choice of books and I also had some nonfiction books and magazines selected for them to read. Students were permitted to bring in a blanket or a big pillow to create a c…[Read more]
Set clear goals and voice expectations.
Frequently reinforce (verbal praise, high five, sticker) students for positive work habits.
Pick out a few skills to practice, reinforce or emphasize each week. Students will learn the skills and it will help reduce the overwhelming feeling of focusing on many details at one time.
I like your thoughts, Peter, about keeping the amazement of learning alive all year long. If we stay inspired and excited about learning, we will also keep our students inspired and excited about learning.
Celebrate the 100th day of school with educational activities.
If you live where it is cold, take an afternoon to go ice skating or sledding.
Assign a day once a week, for 2-3 weeks, where various activities take place with educational themes. (Students dress as a character from history and present a short speech about the character.)
If students are sick, I keep the required make-up work to the essentials. When students are sick they usually need some time to rest and recover and I prefer not to overwhelm them with a pile of work. I send some work home and most of the students do complete the work.
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