Summer is just around the corner, and it is guaranteed that your students are counting down the days until their carefree summer vacation! This can have an effect on your students’ productivity levels, attention span and quality of work, and while this is completely natural, it can impact your students’ grades, final exam results and other end-of-year assessments if left unchecked. Here, the educational technology professionals at SchoolMart provide some helpful tips on keeping your students engaged up until the last day of school.
Integrate More Group Work Into Your Plans
As summer approaches, your students may start to feel anxious for the long break to come and therefore be less focused on their work. This problem is amplified when teachers rely on giving out individual work packets, show videos or lecture to their students. These one-sided tasks, which do not promote interaction or teamwork, may be necessary methods of instruction during the school year, but towards the end of the year will be less likely to attract the attention of distracted minds.
Instead, try implementing engaging and collaborative projects that necessitate the participation of each and every student. Breaking up your students into groups to complete a project or mystery, completing interactive games like “Jeopardy!,” playing “popcorn” when reading from a text or simply moving around the classroom are tried-and-true methods to invite participation and engagement into the classroom.
Mix Up Your Plans With Prizes and Competitions
By adding in an element of competition or surprise to your assignments, your students are more likely to stay engaged. A few examples of twists you can incorporate into your classroom plans include competitions for a prize and going on educational scavenger hunts. In addition, surprises can come in any form; even making a quick change to the layout of your classroom can help provide a refreshing new space for your students.
Assign Summer-Based Activities
Since summertime is already on your students’ minds, try to formulate fun projects and assignments that have to do with the upcoming vacation. For example, have your students write out creative lists of fun summer vacation activities they have planned and grade it as class participation. Then, have each student go around the room and share what they wrote. You can also have your students create fun summer crafts or decorate the room to promote a summer feel. Summer-based activities will not only peak the interest of your daydreaming students, but will help boost the overall mood of the classroom.
Do Not Neglect Yourself
Students are not the only people who are affected by the upcoming summer break—teachers tend to count down the days as well. By the end of the year, educators may feel overwhelmed by the piles of end-of-year paperwork, last-minute grading and classroom cleanup that looms ahead. Also, after a full school year of tending to the needs of their students, teachers deserve a much-needed break as well. By respecting your needs as a teacher, which can include getting quality sleep, keeping a tidy to-do list and prioritizing the most important tasks, you can help mitigate overwhelming feelings so you can be the best version of yourself for your students as you enter the remaining weeks of school.
If your students are aching to get outside of the classroom and enjoy the sunshine, why fight their requests? If allowed, take your students outside on sunny days to get some sun and walk around. Movement and fresh air stimulate your students’ minds, and there are plenty of outdoor educational activities you can choose from, including outside reading or scavenger hunts.
Gather More Helpful Tips from SchoolMart
We at SchoolMart know how exhausting the month of May can feel for students and educators alike. That is why we have created this helpful list of fun activities to help spice up your classroom schedule and keep students interested up until the last day of school. For more helpful tips on how to keep your students engaged as we approach summer vacation, contact the educational technology experts at SchoolMart!