Keeping kids focused at the end of the school year can be a Herculean task. With warm weather and vacation beckoning, it’s not easy to stay on task. Thankfully, Really Good Teachers from around the country are experts at keeping their students focused! The fun ideas below comes from Amber, a 3rd Grade Teacher, from Virginia Beach, VA who knows that combining learning and fun is the only way to get learners engaged in the final few weeks of school.
How to Keep Kids Focused
At our school, the last week involves a series of early release days. Our students are always itching to get out and enjoy the early summer days. (And who can blame them? So are we!) To help manage classroom behavior during this transition time, my teammates and I plan an all-grade-level set of themed days. To help prevent unwanted chaos, we send home a newsletter outlining our days:
• Monday Movie Day
We serve popcorn and let the kids bring a pillow and blanket as we watch a movie together. Usually, the movie is based on a book that we read during the school year, so we have some great discussions about which was better and why.
• Library Day
Students get to share their favorite books to read and swap them with classmates. There are blankets and flashlights available to make tents out of their desks. One year, we even had therapy dogs come to the school playground, so that the kids could read to them in the sunshine.
• Game Day
Students are allowed to bring in their favorite board games and we bring in plenty of our own to create a day filled with fun, laughter, and friendly competition.
• Talent Show Day
The Talent Show Day comes complete with practice, tryouts, and performances. The students really get into it and are excited to share their talents and skills with their peers. We’ve had everything from singing to baton twirling to break dancing!
By planning themed days to help close out the school year, we manage to keep things calm and productive while creating a positive environment that allows our kids a chance to giggle and bond one last time before the summer.