We often focus on building classroom community in the beginning of the school year. We’re intentional about setting goals, expectations, and norms – but after months of learning together, and navigating standardized testing in March and April, we’re seeing a need to re-build class culture at the end of the school year too. But how do you reset and re-engage? Keep reading!
Get Back To Classroom Routines
Regular classroom routines may have taken a backseat in light of testing season, but now is the perfect time to bring them back. Classroom routines have many benefits, such as giving students a roadmap for their daily activities and helping them stay focused by reducing uncertainty. Routines also help foster community among students and encourage them to see themselves as part of the group, rather than just as individual students.
If you need some quick ideas to infuse life into your classroom routines, we’ve got you covered. Try assigning a Read to Lead Playlist! Perfect for morning work before lessons start for the day, early finisher activities, or even extra credit. Read to Lead’s learning games promote literacy and leadership skills within an immersive, game-based platform. The best part? Once students try Read to Lead’s games once, they’ll be eager to play again and again, making it the ideal tool to reinstate routine in your middle school classroom!
Set Short-Term Classroom Goals
What better way to rebuild classroom culture than by giving students a common goal to work towards? Even though there are just a few short weeks left before school is out for summer, setting short-term classroom goals for students to work towards collectively can give them a real boost of motivation!
One easy way to bring the class together and rebuild community is by setting a “Words Read” goal for Read to Lead. As students complete each learning game, their “words read” count gets added to a running tally for the class which shows how many words they have read altogether. Another option is to make it a challenge for students to play at least one Read to Lead learning game each week before summer. Set up a chart in your classroom for students to track their progress and reward them when they hit their goals. Or, if your class has been participating in the Million Words Reach Challenge, use the leaderboard to inspire confidence and healthy competition in your class. Whatever you and your students decide, Read to Lead’s games are sure to add some excitement to the classroom!
Build Students’ Social Emotional Skills
For students, wrapping up the school year can bring with it some big emotions. Relief at having “done their job” the entire school year, stress about their results from their standardized tests, excitement at having time off to relax, sadness at not seeing their friends over summer holidays, and even a worry of food scarcity as school is their one, daily “hot meal”for some students.
Help your students learn healthy ways to manage stress, and give them an opportunity to practice self-management and awareness skills with CASEL-aligned learning games on the Read to Lead platform. By building SEL skills like social and self-awareness, self-management, relationship and communication skills, and responsible decision-making, Read to Lead games help our middle schoolers thrive both in and out of school.
Wondering just how well your students are grasping SEL skills? Check out the inbuilt SEL dashboard! It provides actionable, real-time data to help you understand your students’ SEL skill development and differentiate instruction and support accordingly.
In a student’s academic experience, the end of the school year is just as important as the start. Incorporating Read to Lead’s games into your classroom can help end the year off on a high by helping students regain a sense of community and camaraderie with their classmates. What’s more, Read to Lead is FREE for educators! Sign up today to get started!
About Read to Lead
Read to Lead uses the power of game-based learning to empower middle school students to build literacy, life, and career skills. Teachers can sign up for a free account to get started!