For me those last few weeks of school just seem to drag on forever. It is not really because I am that anxious to get out of there and start summer break, but the real culprit to those mind numbing weeks is the fact there is just nothing left to go over. This year I gave my End of Instruction aka EOI standardized test on April 14th and school officially ends the first week in June. That is 8 weeks of school after the instruction has ended. Now if I taught English I and there was an English II to prepare for then yeah we could do some things, but since I teach the only state tested history test my options and my students attention span is somewhat limited. With the whole emphasis on high stakes testing, once the test are over the students do not really care that much. Thank you soooo much politicians for making school more about testing than teaching. It has made our educational system the envy of the world.
So the best way to keep control of the classroom and make it fun for your students as well as you is to have lots of activities and things for them to do. Watching a movie and just giving them free time can lead to boredom and discipline problems so I like to vary it up as much as possible. This year with so many weeks between testing and the final day of school I have added a few things to my list of things to do for those last school days.
Good Assignments for Those Last Days of School
- Have them team up for a riddle challenge. There are countless number of riddle websites out there and what I like to do is put them in groups of 4 and give them a riddle to see who can answer it the fastest. The group that gets it right gets a point and the group with the most points gets some sort of a reward.
- Play games like Scattergories which is a vocabulary building game or Drawception which is a twist on the Telephone Game where they write down a phrase and the next person has to draw it and the next person has to figure out what the phase is from their drawing. Any big group game that is easy to understand and fun to play makes for an interesting class period.
- Have the students make an interactive presentation either through video, computer, diorama or poster board presentation. Have them pick something they found interesting from the class that they would like to explore deeper.
- Play jeopardy, give them a variety of categories things the students might be interested as well as some school subjects. Divide the class up into small numbers and have a round robin tournament. I have found that competition always makes the students a little bit more interested in what is going on.
- Every now and again throw in a movie or if you have it bring up an old gaming system with a game that has several short games and allows at least four players, especially after your class project to serve as a reward for all the hard work they put in.
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