What to do with students after finals??

Discussion in 'General Education' started by JXG, May 27, 2015.

  1. JXG

    JXG Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2015
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    2

    May 27, 2015

    I'm an 8th grade long term sub for a science teacher. Their finals are on June 4th and they finish school the 18th. I've given them a study guide and the test the permanent teacher gave me is quite extensive. I feel that I need to give them a lot of time to study because of it, as well as, the other finals they will have that week. Since grades are supposed to be inputted on 6/8, there is no time for me to give them a last assignment. What can I do with them once grades are in? Some class periods have graduation practices but others don't. So what do I do??
     
  2.  
  3. Reality Check

    Reality Check Habitué

    Joined:
    May 29, 2010
    Messages:
    913
    Likes Received:
    31

    May 27, 2015

    Mine stop showing up after finals. They know there's no grade hanging over their heads at that point.

    Perhaps science-related movies for the last week?


    :dunno:
     
  4. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Messages:
    5,570
    Likes Received:
    1,717

    May 27, 2015

    Maybe this is a dumb question but why are finals so early if school doesn't end until later in the month?
     
  5. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    Messages:
    6,384
    Likes Received:
    2,249

    May 27, 2015

    Because grades are in which essentially means they aren't working for anything anymore, I suggest something highly engaging that they can do without worry of success or failure.

    Give a list of fun activities for them to do all with a science concept theme. They can do a skit, song, poem, story, game, puzzle, build something with straws or popsicle sticks, etc. They can choose one. Or have jeopardy games or other types of games that have some learning.

    Do a cool experiment that you always wanted to do but didn't have time to do? Give them riddles or science puzzles to solve? Have them write and/or puns or jokes related to science concepts and then have them explain the concept.

    Take some devices from old films and show how they exist today. An example is Star Trek communicators. Ask kids what types of science was needed to develop these items and what type of education was needed in order to make these things. Connect what they need to do in public school and through college to get to the point where they might be able to be working on new things.
     
  6. Koriemo

    Koriemo Comrade

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2014
    Messages:
    346
    Likes Received:
    24

    May 27, 2015

    I would do something more laid back and engaging. I would probably do some sort of group work activity and/or watch movies. Maybe watch some episodes of Bill Nye and have the students make a skit or video inspired in that style on a simple topic like gravity, animals, etc.

    I would also probably say, "I may not be able to give you a grade, but I can still give you a detention." every day to enforce that we are still in school.
     
  7. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,601
    Likes Received:
    2,710

    May 27, 2015

    This sort of schedule is completely baffling to me. It seems so silly and like a huge waste of everyone's time! I would hate to sit in school for weeks after my exams were done.
     
  8. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2011
    Messages:
    1,949
    Likes Received:
    17

    May 27, 2015

    Show movies or play television if you can stream it. I show SportsCenter and other ESPN-related shows throughout the day and students can watch, play games or whatever. Just stay in the classroom.

    At my school, it is really only the Freshman that continue to show up after Finals are over mostly because they feel like they "have to" (our district is big on pushing attendance numbers). The upper classmen don't care.
     
  9. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    2,418
    Likes Received:
    1,175

    May 27, 2015

    I know some have mentioned to just show up and put on TV and movies (some have said content related, some not)...but this seems like a great time to give them an opportunity to apply what they've learned to a new situation. That might be coming up with their own experiments to do a complete write-up on and then experiment with, or maybe it's creating a game based on the information they've learned...tons of options! (Just deciding to show TV shows and movies, especially if unrelated to content, isn't fair to those students who would put effort into this kind of project and be able to use it to practice their skills)

    As an example, most of us have wrapped up or are wrapping up our math curriculum this week (4th grade), and our state testing was a couple weeks ago, too. Rather than just let it be wide open, we're using this as an opportunity for the students to create their own "city", where they're asked to apply the concepts they learned this year (mainly geometry and basic operations, but I added on some measurement/area/perimeter/mult algorithm, etc...) in order to be able to build their city. I've seen similar projects before when subbing, and the students have been highly engaged, actively practicing what they've learned instead of being passive learners of information that they could easily tune out and no one would be the wiser.

    That being said, if you have colleagues there (other 8th grade sci teachers or other sci teachers), see if they can help you out if you're more of a shorter long-term sub... They may have some ideas from things they have done in the past. Good luck!
     
  10. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2011
    Messages:
    1,949
    Likes Received:
    17

    May 27, 2015

    ^^^ If you can get your students to work after exams are done and grades are in - these types of things are great.

    Most of the kids at my school stopped working at the start of May (long before grades are due and Final Exams begin in 2 weeks.) Many just don't want to work or be in the classroom, but they come to school to hang out/see their friends and because of attendance threats.

    If they won't complete classwork; the only threat I can hold over their head is a bad grade and some don't even care about that at this time of the year - especially if they know they have already passed the course for the year. Admin suggests giving independent work instead of trying to teach a lesson so that teachers can focus on keeping the kids in the room and (relatively) calm to prevent fights and stuff.
     
  11. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    2,418
    Likes Received:
    1,175

    May 27, 2015

    Fair enough. And to be honest, I'm coming from a much different perspective (elementary), so I'd probably find your viewpoint a bit more meaningful since you actually have the experience with that level! It does probably differ on the school and classroom, too. I know that some elementary classrooms after state testing really shut it down a ton, and many kids stop putting in as much effort...but I know that since I've never taken my foot off the gas pedal, the students are performing at the same or even higher levels with work that we're doing than before the state testing was done with...even though we are down to the last few weeks.

    Perhaps the best advice then is to get in touch with the rest of your team and your administration: see what your school's culture is like and what they've found has been the best in the past.
     
  12. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    Messages:
    5,770
    Likes Received:
    1,004

    May 27, 2015

    I gave my final like two weeks ago. We don't end until June 12th. However, my students also have large final "projects" including research essays and presentations, which are taking up a lot of the time. You may not have a lot of time to give a project like that not to mention grading it.

    However you can do something fun. In past years, I've designed engineering units for the last few weeks where they just did fun activities like making gackt and building cars out of everyday materials.

    Then we usually end the last week with one of my favorite movies: Contact.
     
  13. Ashoksahu

    Ashoksahu Rookie

    Joined:
    May 29, 2015
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 29, 2015

    The good thing that you have done is provided materials.
    Many students don't know what exactly they have to do in vacation.
    Proper guidance is very essential so that they can move forward.
     
  14. Aussiegirl

    Aussiegirl Habitué

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Messages:
    840
    Likes Received:
    8

    May 29, 2015

    Our students are engaged in a project involving creating, testing, and then racing cars made of "found" materials and powered by a balloon of air. It is a great hit with the kids. They work in groups of their choice, and we use every afternoon after lunch on the last four days of school to build the cars. The final races, single elimination, are held the last day and take about an hour.

    Another science project our school did had to do with creating the perfect egg crate that will protect the egg from breaking when dropped from the roof of the single story school building.

    BOth projects are a blast and give the students a way to put all they learned in the physical sciences together in a fun way.
     
  15. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2012
    Messages:
    1,841
    Likes Received:
    51

    May 29, 2015

    Our science exam was earlier this week and grades were due yesterday. We have school for two more full weeks. Since the kids still have to take their math and English tests I've been reviewing that with them. I plan to do some real simple labs, watch lots of Planet Earth and we go outside a lot. I think going outside is hugely beneficial!
     
  16. MLB711

    MLB711 Comrade

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2011
    Messages:
    376
    Likes Received:
    53

    May 29, 2015

    I teach Social Studies. I was planning on watching at least 1 more episode of America Story of Us and doing a small personal finance unit (what's a bank, checking vs savings, debit vs credit, how to write a check) with 8th grade. 6th and 7th grade will be doing an ABC Book project to boost their grades from some pretty crappy finals scores, then I might make 6th grade design and build a castle and have 7th grade research a trip. Those last ones are backup ideas in case I need extra projects. We are done June 10 but my finals were Wednesday and Thursday of last week
     
  17. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    2,418
    Likes Received:
    1,175

    May 29, 2015

    Was the bad finals scores due to their not understanding, the test being too hard, or something else?
     
  18. MLB711

    MLB711 Comrade

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2011
    Messages:
    376
    Likes Received:
    53

    May 29, 2015

    I think it was a culmination of a few factors. 1) Weather - it was 85 degrees and humid this entire week. I have the hottest room in the building so I also had to have several fans going. Easily could have affected concentration. 2) Did not put effort into studying. I took almost all of my questions from previous tests and the vocabulary terms and people were on the study guide I distributed and they used during class to review. 3) too little too late for a few. They have just never done well on assessments for me and have not come to extra help or only came to extra help the day before the final. 4) review style. I didn't play as many games this time as I did for the midterm, and I'm sure it wasn't what they were expecting. Before the midterm I did 3 full classes of review. This time I really only had 1.5-2 classes.
     
  19. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2004
    Messages:
    3,814
    Likes Received:
    364

    May 30, 2015

    Do your students know when grades are due? Can you get away with projects after finals and they might think they will still count for grades?
     
  20. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2013
    Messages:
    4,250
    Likes Received:
    1,823

    May 30, 2015

    We're at our last couple of days and I have done projects, educational shows, a movie, and regular teaching and bookwork. My students were warned that they could watch history shows for social studies, or move on to the next chapter in the textbook. They didn't take me seriously, and only half were paying attention to the show, so I turned it off and they copied vocabulary from their textbooks. They seriously whined, but sometimes too much freedom can be a bad thing! They haven't been pushed too hard for the last week or so in any of their classes.
     
  21. JXG

    JXG Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2015
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    2

    Jun 8, 2015

    @Missy Yes they know when grades are due. Thanks everyone for your ideas. This week is all about their graduation practices and their dance. I know that they are not going to concentrate on much else. The practices take up about half of my day.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

Total: 127 (members: 0, guests: 113, robots: 14)
test