Sunday Panel: The Pull of Spring

Sunday Panel StickyWhat are some ways that you address the pull of spring when planning activities or assignments?

 

profile pic2Tara, Science in the City:I try to make sure that my lessons are extra engaging, and maybe work in some ways to make sure they include some aspect of spring, if possible. Another strategy to emphasize at this time of year, I think is to make sure that students will be successful, and won’t get frustrated.  ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

CDickson Profile PicClair, High School English on a Shoestring Budget: Distraction was a continual issue with my students.  They didn’t want to do school work (or come to school) when the weather was rainy, cold, snowy, windy, cloudy, and least of all sunny.  Project-based learning that allowed them movement and self-direction seemed to help.  I kept things shorter and less intense at the end of the year, having pushed harder earlier (rather than easing into things.)  In the beginning of the term, I would really push them on assignments and how much we accomplished, which gave wiggle room for slowing the pace down.  Nice year end projects included the Company Project and my Past, Present and Future projects (especially for those at the end of the high schooling)  ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

TPT ProfileSara, Ms. Fuller’s Teaching Adventures: When allowed, I take students outside. I always stockpile sidewalk chalk on clearance the year before and give each student one piece. I ask them to brainstorm for a writing assignment or draw a web to elaborate on a subject we are studying. By the time the school day is over, the chalk is gone because so many shoes have walked on the writing. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

LanguageArtsClassroomLauralee,The Language Arts Classroom:When allowed, I take students outside. I always stockpile sidewalk chalk on clearance the year before and give each student one piece. I ask them to brainstorm for a writing assignment or draw a web to elaborate on a subject we are studying. By the time the school day is over, the chalk is gone because so many shoes have walked on the writing. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

bloglogoOCBeachTeacher: “Spring Fever” and anticipation for the end of the school year can present many challenges for teachers, but I have a few tricks that I use to make this time of year more engaging and productive for my students. First, movement! It may seem hard to get students out of their seats in an English class, but in fact, there are lots of ways to get them moving. For instance, I will often do “carousel” activities for guided practice after presenting a new concept. It’s easy. I just post construction or chart paper around the room, and students complete activities on the posted paper as they rotate clockwise. Often, I use a timer to keep them focused on the task at hand. With time limits, they are less likely to wander from their assigned activities.

Here’s a quick and easy carousel that you can do to help students practice understanding subjects and predicates: Post newspaper pages with attention-getting headlines around the classroom and circle three of the headlines on each page. Have students read the headlines and list the subjects and predicates from each page’s headlines on their notebook papers as they circulate around the room. Then review their answers after they’ve traveled to all newspaper pages. Students will often read the accompanying articles as an added benefit!

In addition to movement, I try to select readings that have lighter themes and topics. For example, my Advanced Placement literature will start reading William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream this week. While Hamlet, Macbeth, Julius Caesar and other Shakespeare plays have much to offer them, A Midsummer Night’s Dream is about mixed-up lovers and comical fairies, making it perfect for students who are daydreaming about prom and summer romance. In American Literature, we will read Neil Simon’s Brighton Beach Memoirs during the last week of school. It’s filled with adolescent humor and laugh-out-loud behavior! Although it’s important to choose the right classes to read it with (there are frequent sexual references), there are also worthwhile themes about family sacrifice and love, overcoming hardships, and making important decisions about one’s future.

 

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