No, this is not a post about the NCAA tournament taking over the country. It is about that long stretch of days a lot of students and teachers are experiencing right now. For many schools in the US, the last federal holiday was in mid-February.
Because most schools didn’t have days off in March, it likely felt like a long, slow trudge toward spring break in April. Students are restless and teachers are on the verge of burnout. Many schools are entering test prep mode, which adds an additional level of stress.
All of these factors could leave everyone feeling a little off-kilter, eager for a three day weekend. Fortunately, we have a few tips to help you and your students get through the spring slump.
???? Let students be the teachers
When students are given the chance to own their learning, they become more invested and engaged, often leading to academic improvements.
Identify five or six topics you’ve covered over the course of the year, and break up the class into medium-sized groups. Then, assign each student a topic to teach to their peers. This post from Inclusive Classrooms Project has some suggestions for helping students create their own lesson plans a rubric for grading their efforts as teachers.
Giving your students the opportunity to teach creates a sense of ownership and pride that doesn’t come from one-way learning!
???? Be consistent but don’t get stuck
Students thrive in organized environments with routines and consistency. Students are comfortable, focused, and eager to learn when there is consistency. But students do get tired of sitting behind their desks day after day.
Look for hands-on learning opportunities that allow them to engage with one another and move around their classrooms. Adding Read to Lead® to your classroom activities is a great way to differentiate learning and keep your students interested.
???? Introduce different learning experiences to your students
Why not consider delivering your lesson in a different way? Think about having Worksheet Free Wednesday. Differentiating instruction increases student engagement and takes some of the pressure off you as the teacher.
Invite a guest speaker to give students a different perspective on a subject that they have been learning about, or find a project-based learning lesson plan to work on each week
???? Start a challenge
Are you teaching a social-emotional lesson on productivity and accountability? There’s nothing like a little friendly competition to get students motivated. Signing your classroom up for a contest is an excellent way to bring outside motivation to your students.
Our “Million Words Read Challenge” is a real-time competition allowing educators and youth to track the number of words read in the Read to Lead platform and compete with other classrooms around the country.
Read to Lead doesn’t stop there, our completely free platform not only improves the writing skills of students, it also helps them develop key life and career skills that are critical for success in 21st century schools.
About Read to Lead
Read to Lead, created by the nonprofit organization, Classroom Inc., 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!