Tips for finishing out the school year?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by riverdance85, Apr 27, 2014.

  1. riverdance85

    riverdance85 Rookie

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    Apr 27, 2014

    Only six weeks left! The bad part about that is that the kids sense that and I've been finding it harder and harder to teach. I remember from last year how difficult it was...and some of my teacher-student relationships took a nose-dive due to everyone being stressed out.

    What are some ways that I can cope with more and more students complaining about work? Students have also begun to get more 'moody.' I don't want to lean on administration for help... Are there any 'tricks' or positive thinking strategies that veteran teachers use each time the year starts to wind down? Like how to keep sane? :dizzy:

    Thankfully, I don't have a lot of disruptions this semester (compared to other semesters before). However, they show signs of being bored...and they openly tell me my class is boring! We do some fun stuff, but only sometimes.

    Thanks for your help!
     
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  3. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Apr 27, 2014

    I teach elementary, so my approach may be different. This time of year we work on activity units. For example, for reading we will be doing a poetry unit which includes lots of hands on activities and writing. For math, we are doing real world application activities.

    It takes the students away from strictly teacher instructed, practice, and textbook. They are able to apply the skills they have learned this year.

    I have found that problematic behaviors are decreased because the students stay active and engaged.
     
  4. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Apr 27, 2014

    Originally I wanted to work with biographies. The plan was to spend 1 or 2 days on 1 short biography, read it, complete a cloze reading assignment, answer questions, discuss, write a summary, a reflection, watch short videoclips (for example history.com or biography.com or other websites have 3-4 minutes biographies). I wanted to choose a wide variety of people, those who are generally left out.
    Wanted to start with Cesar Chavez because he's very relevant to our students. Then wanted to move on to current people, such as Steve Jobs, the to the founder of Yahoo (forgot his name), etc, these people started out small, and became famous and contributed to society in ways that we're using every day. We could also see how those products started, how they evolved, etc. then wanted to include some actors, for example Will Smith, and then the real person he played in the Pursuit of Happyness. Then some other people such as Bethany Hamilton (got her arm bit off by a shark but it didn't let it stop her). We finished a unit on Helen Keller, we can also compare and contrast these 2 ladies.
    My main aim to analyze people who started out with nothing and became great or had hardships and overcame it.
    I had a lot of people lined up. Then when I started to look into Cesar Chavez I was amazed how much I found and it became a 2-3 week long unit.

    He is from the Central Valley (that's where we are), same ethnicity, religion, socio-economic background as my students, and on average, I would say at least every other student either has a relative who has worked on the fields, or the student himself thought about working on the fields or already had a job working there.

    I chose fast paced lessons, short readings, vocabulary, answer questions from the readings, create a foldable about influences and the type of person he became, we'll do a timeline, a poster, we watch short videos about him in every class. Not a lot of writing, everything is fast. We go into topics and concepts such as strike, boycotting, picketing, unions, farming, discrimination, fasting, religion, things that are either very relevant, or interesting or familiar, or very new to them.

    Can you find someone your students would find interesting?Whoever it is, I would follow a fast paced lesson plan with varied activities and multimedia. Switch everything up quickly so they don't have time to get bored.

    I'm still going to do some of the biographies I planned, obviously I won't have time for all of them. Then at the end the students will write a make believe biography of themselves, as if they already lived for 50-60 years and they can write about all the great things they achieved.

    IF things get boring, I will throw in a few current events lessons, watch a news segment and discuss it, go into topics, etc.

    I expect this to work out well, but I'll be closely watching my students if they reached a breaking point and then I'll have to switch things up.
     
  5. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Apr 27, 2014

    I'm not going to fight them again this year. We're done with standardized tests the week of May 12th....I had them make a chart of all the things they wanted to learn. From May 12th-June 13th, that's what we're doing.

    Somebody wrote "zombies." :lol: I took a college course on media portrayals of zombies and their root in Haitian culture. Sounds like Social Studies to me!
     
  6. mazzystar

    mazzystar Rookie

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    Apr 30, 2014

    For Middle School Languge Arts, my students are doing a group project where they create a magazine. Since they could pick their own groups, and write about whatever it is they want, with my permission, it seems to be going good. Of course, i've only introduced it to them today so we'll see.
     
  7. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Apr 30, 2014

    I tried to cover everything before standardized testing this year and I did for the most part. I skipped a few fun things that we might do during this time. My main idea is to have menu options of projects they can do as their 'Final'.

    I have a lot of ideas including making a car out of everyday household materials to researching circuit design and building redstone circuits in Minecraft to demonstrate common circuits.

    If a student has an idea for a project they want to do, with permission, I'll allow them to do that for points. It's going to be a large project grade so if they skimp on it, their grade will suffer and the majority of my kids this year seem very motivated to maintain high grades.

    But that's going to be a home project. As for what we're going to do in class, for about a week we'll be researching a paper for astronomy and writing it, we might do those other lessons we missed as I mentioned earlier that are nice to learn, but not crucial for testing, or we might figure out something else. It's not quite solidified in my mind yet either.
     
  8. GTB4GT

    GTB4GT Cohort

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    Apr 30, 2014

    my $.02 - ignore the complaining and push on with what you want to teach.

    I have found that most HS students are in the 16-18 year old range and thus prone to make decisions "appropriate to that age group". work avoidance is one of those poor decisions and they are testing you. Some teachers will give up and in and they are hoping that you do the same. You are paid to teach, so teach. (FWIW, my students think that I am "that guy". and I am.;))
     
  9. SleekTeach

    SleekTeach Comrade

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    Apr 30, 2014

    This is probably terrible, but at my school we now have recess twice a day!
     
  10. SleekTeach

    SleekTeach Comrade

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    Apr 30, 2014

    Also, for me saying something as simple as "I'm trying to see who is ready for the 2nd grade." They all shape right up because they think I have the power to keep them in the 1st grade. lol
     
  11. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Apr 30, 2014

    True. But, while the teachers at my school are still teaching everyday, there is little learning going on. Some kids are so checked out - waiting for graduation, prom, class trip, state exams and finals - that you might have to adapt and change things up to get anything of consequence accomplished.

    This time of the year, I see a lot of teachers chugging away with what they've been doing all year, although no one is aboard train, following along.
     
  12. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    Apr 30, 2014

    It's been a long winter. As soon as the rain stops...
    side walk chalk
    read outside
     
  13. strassy

    strassy Rookie

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    May 1, 2014

    Can you elaborate a bit on what this chart was like? I have thought about doing the same thing, but I wasn't really sure which direction to take with it.
     
  14. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    May 1, 2014

    I think that's wonderful! We don't let kids play enough as it is.

    We're finishing the year with our big research project. It's 1/3 of their grade for English III, so they really don't have much of a choice. They have to do it. I assign a "multigenre" project, though, that incorporates a lot of technology, so most of the kids... gosh, I don't want to lie and say they "enjoy" it... but they stay engaged. LOL.
     

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