I am so excited to be part of the Springing into Learning Blog Hop with Kim from Elementary Antics and many other teacher bloggers! I can’t wait to see all of the great ideas everyone has to share! After reading my blog post, be sure to click the link at the end to hop on to the rest of the great blogs!
The winter holidays are over, the weather is warming up and the children have … Spring Fever! Well, as a veteran classroom teacher, I can sympathize with you … this is NOT the time for the kids to get silly and stop working! This is the time to pull out all your “tricks” and get them back on track!
I have a few tricks for keeping students engaged and counteract “Spring Fever”:
Easter Egg Hunts! By this time of the year students get a bit bored by worksheets and problem solving packets, but they still need the practice. With testing season beginning many districts have problem solving reviews for students to complete. To mix it up and make it more fun, hide 3 dozen (12 x 3 = 36) eggs around the room with messages inside. The messages can be things like “Work problem #4 with markers” or “Ask a classmate to help you solve problem #8”. One of the most popular is “Solve problem #6 on the teachers white board”. Students can work alone or in pairs (teachers choice) to hunt the eggs and do the work! Once they finish a problem, they can rehide the egg. You can 3 copies of the messages, so a student will most likely find a message he/she has already had. I would tell my students ahead of time that this will happen and that they simply put the message back in the egg and hide it. Since the messages are not specific problems, you can use them again and again, until the novelty wears off!
A second Easter Hunt idea is to put the actual problems in the eggs and give your students a record sheet to record solutions/answers! Create your own or download mine for FREE!
Games! If you have been in my classroom or read my blog before, you probably know that I love games! Children learn better when they are engaged and games are a great way to get them interested! There are a lot of times that games are just not suitable for the situation (like taking a test), but try to fit them in when you can. When I was still in the classroom I would almost always have a game as one of my Math rotations. The game was aligned to the learning objective for the week or was a review of a topic that my students needed more practice with. You can also have an Easter Basket of Math games for students to play when they finish their work. I have a fun little FREEBIE for you here too! My Ninja Bunny Hop:
Take it outside! Pick a day you have nice weather in the forecast and let the students bring picnic blankets or beach towels (have a few extra on hand for those who forget). Grab some extra pencils incase any get broken and let your students bring their work outside for a little break. If you are near the playground, you can even give an incentive like “Work hard for 15 minutes and we will take a break to play”. You could also bring out sidewalk chalk and have students work problems on the hard top of our playground!