The home stretch has arrived! Hopefully you’ve Spring Break to relax and recharge and are ready to tackle these last few weeks of the school year. Here are a few tips to keep you on the right track on this race to the finish:
Take Care of Yourself!-Try to maintain that relaxed and recharged feeling you have from your Spring Break throughout the remainder of the school year. You will need to keep yourself charged so you can be your best for your students. Your number one priority should be getting enough sleep. So often we remind our students to get the rest they need, but we stay up way past our bedtimes grading, answering e-mails, and lesson planning. Set a reasonable bedtime for yourself and stick to it! Also, try to schedule in time on the weekends to plan your meals and snacks for the week so you are not finding yourself in the drive-thru too often during the busy work week. Finally, schedule in that exercise class or yoga session just as you do your staff meetings and parent conferences. These commitments are equally important and should be appointments that you keep just as you do your work obligations. Putting your health and wellness first, is truly the most important step in being the best you can be for your students!
Maintain Routine & Schedule as Much as Possible-There are many wonderful activities that come with the end of a school year and many fun and lasting memories will be made for you and your students. However, with all the field trips, assemblies, and other special events comes the increased likelihood that many of your students will have a harder time making good choices during these less structured activities. Be sure to build in time to your schedule, both weekly and daily, to preview what special events might be coming up. Refer to the monthly calendar to give students the “bird’s eye” view of the month’s activities and then break it down to the week by having them make note of events in their student planners. Pair these previews with discussions of behavioral expectations for special events and always reinforce the purpose or learning goal for the event. Make it clear how these special events fit into your “regular” schedule and reinforce that we are having school as usual before and after any of these special events.
Offer Choice & Increase Student Engagement- Consider allowing the students some choice in projects and activities they do as part of an end-of-year summative assessment. Big Universe’s cloud-based literacy library offers thousands of leveled texts, assessments, and lesson plans that can provide an amazing opportunity for differentiated choice reading or fiction/non-fiction pairings for your social studies, science, or math units. The anytime access and variety of resources Big Universe provides are the perfect tools for all of the learners in your classroom including students with special needs and English Language Learners. Using the resources offered on Big Universe as a launching point, let your students be creative in how they demonstrate what they’ve learned this year. Encourage them to do things like book shares, science investigations, social studies webquests, or maybe even teach a lesson to the class.
Do you have any ideas for how to help students and teachers finish the school year strong? Please let us know in the comments section below!