The end of the year is approaching and not only are your students getting restless, but chances are you are too! In the upper grades it can sometimes be difficult to keep control in a classroom where students have checked out and many think school is over since testing is over (for the most part).
Here are a few tips for maintaining order and your own sanity!
- Ensure now, more than ever, that all assignments are relevant to real life. Try to avoid traditional notes and worksheets this time of year. Give students hands on activities, projects and partner work. If possible, assign long(er) term activities that will take multiple class periods. Incorporate technology and some form of art if you can. The more engaged they are, the more likely they’ll be to stay on task. Do you really want to be grading worksheets this late in the school year? Doubtful. Think about it this way… if you don’t want to grade it or facilitate it, they aren’t going to want to do it. Be fun and creative but also relevant!
- Don’t slack off. Secondary kids feed off your energy. You already know that. When you’re having a bad day, they’ll take it and run with it. If you start slacking on getting papers graded and returned and slacking on getting assignments prepared and planned, they will totally know it. If they sense you are sliding into the “who cares it’s almost summer zone” they will quickly follow you. For them, it’s a deep dark pit of no return. Once they’re there, they won’t crawl out until August. Stay on your game! I know it’s hard when all you can dream about is that first day where you don’t have to see their smiling faces, but try! Remind them that there are still expectations. You are still taking grades. The work they are getting now counts just as much as it did in October (you remember that too!).
- My Coffee Shop Project is a great way to keep students working on essential math skills while incorporating real world skills and group work.
- My End of Year Math Activities for Middle School Resource contains relevant, skill based activities that are different from boring worksheets or mindless word search puzzles. You can purchase it HERE!