Posted on 04/30/2019 at 08:15 AM by Blog Experts

Today, my kids have 21 days left of school.  Some of you may have more due to the wonderful winter/spring weather we've had.  It's easy to shut down early.  Students know it's the end of the year and they just act "differently".  Here are some tips to keep student engaged till the end of the school year from Jamie at Not So Wimpy Teacher:

1. Keep the Routine

Students will behave better if you keep the basic routine. For me, this meant that we always started our day with math and ended with writing. We will continue to have small groups and centers.

The kids have been trained on this routine and they are going to be more successful if we don't go changing everything!

2. Collaborative Projects

Just because we are keeping the schedule, doesn't mean we can't add in some new projects! This is the time of the year that I liked to do more collaborative projects. Students are good(ish) at working together by this time and so the projects are more successful.

My class always did a collaborative graphing project. They loved getting to choose their question and get creative on their poster! You can read more about this project and grab the freebie HERE.

Another fun collaborative project is using Legos to build famous United States' monuments. My students loved this one! They were reading informational text, learning about social studies, using creativity and working as a team. You can read more about it HERE.

3. Increase Movement

The weather is warming up and students are getting antsy in their seats. You need to keep them moving! This is the perfect time to increase (or start using) Go Noodle. These are fantastic brain breaks that get the kids up and dancing. My students cheered whenever I turned it on!

Another way that I kept students moving is by doing lots of task card scoots. Sometimes I let them scoot with a partner. They love this! You can even take the task cards outside if the weather is nice!

4. Book Clubs

I LOVE book clubs any time of the year, but they are especially awesome during 4th quarter! They are a fun way to keep kids reading without making it agonizing. My goal is to increase their love for reading

You can read more about how I organize and manage book clubs HERE.

5. Math Art

Math is more fun when it involves creativity! Add in some art to your math lessons and your kids will be on cloud nine!

My favorite math art project is Area and Perimeter Robot. My kids love this project and I love that they are reviewing a tricky math concept! You can see the project by clicking HERE.

6. Genius Hour Projects

Have you done Genius Hour projects?

My students LOVED getting to research and learn about anything that they wanted! I had kids learning how to be come a doctor, how to draw people and the history of the Aztecs. They begged for more! They barely noticed that they were learning how to research and write informational text! Win!

I don't have a blog post about this YET, but check Pinterest and you'll find lots of ideas!

7. Science Fair

Have you held a science fair this year? If not, fourth quarter is the ideal time for it! Students can learn the scientific process and how to research! They love getting to choose their question! You can read more about how I managed science fair HERE.

8. Fun Behavior Incentive

The end of the school year can lead to lazy students or students who have trouble following the class rules.

How about switching up your behavior incentive? Maybe students who never have to clip down or students who have a certain number of Dojo points can earn special Fun Friday activities!

9. Book Auction

My students absolutely love our annual book auction.

They can earn tickets for outstanding behavior and participation. Students understand that having lots of tickets helps them to earn their first or second choice of books at the auction!

I love doing this because it is a behavior management strategy and it gets a book in their hands for summer break! You can read more about how I organized and managed my book auctions HERE.

10. Art Projects

I am super OCD about neatness, so paint makes me shake a little bit! But I am extra at the end of the year. I got the paint out more than usual. (I still don't touch that awful glitter!) The kids love making art projects.

Keep it educational by teaching them a little about the artist or having them research the artist. I also like to do art projects that go along with our science unit. Pinterest is my primary source for coming up with new projects!

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