Happens every year: Summer-itis is going around

We asked the members of our Curriculum & Academics team for some remedies

It’s near the end of the second semester, there are only a few weeks left, and try as you might, keeping your students’ attention until the last bell of the year seems….Herculean?

Been here before? We get it. That’s why we’re sharing a few ideas that could help you get to the finish line with a gold star.

The student becomes the teacher

Have students lead classes, discussions, or projects for the entire class. Students retain more when they learn from each other. Now you can sit back and relax. Prompt students to develop full class discussion questions, fun games or projects they can create that relate to the content, or quick presentations they can prepare to jigsaw any remaining content. Just remember to allow students some creativity in their work so they can have a little fun too!

Loosen up

Up the flexibility and give your students simple prompts that allow them to incorporate their personal interests:

  • What movies or TV shows depict injustices, and how does that relate to civil rights?
  • Time to put physics in action. Take your favorite sport and discuss the related physics components
  • Think about how you will use your summer break.” Write a creative story, set in the future, that starts “You will never believe what happened last summer…”

Turn the end into the beginning

Who doesn’t love a good student video? Have your students put their smartphone skills and storytelling chops to task and assign an in-class media project – tell next year’s students what it was like this year. Let their point-of-view and expertise shine. It could ease the nerves next year’s students might have about a class they might not think will like. This can work especially when attendance, and attention, is spotty.

One last big, fun project

And a culminating one at that – turn your last few weeks of class time into an exercise that demonstrates a year’s worth of content. This one is super open to interpretation. Consider concluding your year with a contest, a race, a Shark Tank-like pitch, a Rube Goldberg, a keynote address, or PowerPoint-supported speech. Be sure to set up milestones and a strong rubric, but remember this – with attention spans dwindling and summer plans getting closer and closer, the key word is fun.

Interested in sharing your own it’s-the-end-of-the-year-and-I’ve-got-to-keep-my-students-focused-on-something ideas? Please share = we’d love to hear them!!