Make it a Competition!
Every student loves a little healthy competition! Help your students harness their energy for good, not evil. If you can, try and provide little prizes or gift for students to keep up their motivation. A Jolly Rancher or Starburst can go a long way. Here are a few suggestions:
- Make an online Jeopardy board, and have a game/review day the day before a test
- Use Quizlet to import vocabulary and do a few rounds of Quizlet Live
- Challenge tables of students to get the most math problems correct on the test or practice problems
- Orchestrate fun relay races in gym class
- Create a fun imaginary currency students can earn while going above-and beyond in class
- Hold debate or mock trial
Make it Collaborative!
During this time of year, students are going to be talking non-stop so might as well build opportunities for your students to gab in class. It is your responsibility to keep their talking on task, and give them interesting, and educational topics to talk about while they’re working.
- In foreign language class, give students time to productively use vocabulary and sentence structures to talk about topics of their choice
- In a social studies class, create a simulation where students must work together to create their own government
- In a language arts class, have students hold conversations using new vocabulary words, work together to read-aloud or write
- In a science class, assign students a project to create their own lab to test a hypothesis.
Make it Creative!
Hopefully, your district is finished or almost finished with the yearly week (or weeks) of standardized testing that plagues the American Public Schools System. When you are finished, you can move confidently into alternative assessment territory. This means creative projects galore. None of your students are going to remember the weeks of test prep, but they will remember the projects. Plan creative ways for your students to demonstrate that their brains are still switched on and focused on learning by infusing your lessons with art.
- Reader’s theater can turn any reading into a fun period where students act and perform
- Students can write plays, commercials, and design advertisements about Ancient Egypt, cell functions, the Russian Revolution
- Use art! Have students use colors and designs to demonstrate their understanding
- Students can use dance and music to represent a character’s struggling or a specific period of time in history.
By Jessica Morana