Are you getting forgetful … feeling restless? … Suffering from something keener than spring fever? If the year is winding down and you’re feeling this way imagine what your students must be feeling!
Class time seems to be brief as the end of the school year approaches. Both teachers and students often squander the final days. Teachers tend to forgo challenging study units in favor of assignments that require less work because no one’s heart is in it. Motivation is an uphill struggle. The students are loaded with distractions and don’t seem to be learning very much no matter how hard you try.
Have you noticed that you can barely hold their attention? …
- Quality of work has decreased and assignments are incomplete
- They have been off task, with increased talking
- Misbehaviors are increasing
Between your personal distractions and those of the students, the potential for trouble is high. You, as a professional, are required to set the tone for success. You can either deal with school days that drag on and on or you can devise ways to keep your students attentive and productive.
In order to achieve this you might begin by asking yourself a few questions …
- Do I still offer engaging lessons designed for student success?
- Am I encouraging my students to work with a purpose?
- Are we, teacher and students, using our allotted instructional time well?
- Am I approaching every school day with the same eager intensity I began the year with?
If you have not answered yes to each of these questions, it is a good idea to reexamine the way you are using your classroom time.
Adjusting The Attitude
There is an awful lot to be said about time management and Professor Randy Pausch says it best. He has inspired millions of people across the internet with this free video. It wont be easy to waste time after viewing this …
How to Use Time Well in Your Classroom
- It may be May, but you still need to make every minute count in your classroom. Every lesson needs to be centered around a clearly stated objective. The students must know what the objective is and the purpose of the work.
- Avoid assigning inappropriate amount of work. Assignments should be sequenced so that when a student finishes the assignment, another assignment awaits. Don’t allow them to waste time waiting for others to finish.
- Don’t let the year end routines vary from those you established at the beginning of the year.
- Students will request and even beg for free time now that the year is coming to a close. Never allow it. You were not hired to allow your students to do nothing.
- As far as significant classroom disruptions go, your attitude and actions determine the level of significance.
It Is Never Too Late To Remedy Some Problems
- Break down assignments into smaller blocks of work. This will encourage students to complete a block at a time.
- Let students pair up to complete the task.
- Ask students to work hard for a fifteen minute time limit, At the end of the time limit, ask them to share what they have learned.
- After a short group discussion, allow them to go back to work.
- Give them a checklist to keep track of their progress.
- Reward students when they successfully complete their work on schedule.