Perspective: Which of these define your mindset this Monday morning?
18 more days left until summer vacation.
Only 18 days left of instruction.
I won’t put you on the spot and make you answer that, 🙂 but I will write this blog suggesting some ways to make BOTH of those thoughts more tolerable for ya!
Teachers are les likely to have classroom managemnt problems when their students are on task and engaged. Students are more likely to remain on task and engaged if they are interested and challenged. Common sense, right? Why then, do ofice referrals spike in the month of May? A combination of factors….your patience is worn thin. You’re less likely to “want” to deal with disruptive students post TAKS. Students get a sense of “finality” from the tone that is set once we are post TAKS. (That darn test really affects our day to day, doesn’t it?)
A few tips to make these 18 days productive and easier to handle:
- Use technology. Dancemats, flip cams, digital cameras, Macbook, extra websites, your 5 Speedgeeking sites/tools…you’re surrounded! Jump in!
- Change activities frequently. Our students are used to getting information instantly. They are text messageRs, web consumeRs, instant gratification-ally designed. (Kinda like me! heh!) We cannot expect to maintain their interest or control when we drone on and on about exciting things, such as subject-verb agreement. Yawn. I got bored just typing it! Vary your lessons, and break them into 20-30 minute segments.
- Provide extra help for those who need it. A frustrated student may the ignition switch to losing control in your classroom. Save yourself the trouble down the road and step in before they have the opportunity to act on on their frustration.
- Keep your assignments challenging. This is not the time of year to go back and finish all those worksheets that you ran but didn’t have time to get to! If your assignments are too simple, you’ll lose attention as well.
- Use group instruction. Divide your students, maximize your space, and material coverage. Take a page from your primary counterparts and use small group instruction, based on the needs of your class.