fbq('track', 'ViewContent');
Showing posts with label projects. Show all posts
Showing posts with label projects. Show all posts

Academic Summer Games! A Celebration of Learning!

This is our last full week of school, and we'll be celebrating learning by having Academic Summer Games!

 
Academic Summer Games! I love to keep the kids busy by adding a little bit of friendly competition at the end of the school year. This post gives plenty of fun ideas on how to do this!

 
My goals:
  1. Have fun!
  2. Give the kids a taste of what the Olympics are like!
  3. Give the children some experience with some of the different countries all over the world.
  4. Review skills from the year!
  5. Liven up these last few dreary days!
  6. Promote teamwork and positive feelings.
  7. Promote individual self esteem
  8. Grab an opportunity for some Project Based Learning.
  9. Did I mention having fun?
Of course, the real Olympics start in August and will be over before we come back to school in the fall.  But I'm a huge fan of the Olympics, and rather passionate about Social Studies as well. What better way to learn about different countries from all over the world?

Here's my plan:
  1. Form 5 groups of 4.  Those students will choose a country to represent, design a banner to represent that country, make a flag for that country, and pick a color to wear on the days of "competition".
  2. We'll start with a "parade of athletes" around the school.  Each "country" will carry its banner and flag, and will proudly display their colors.  
  3. Then we'll hold a number of "events".  I'm thinking a few scoot games, like these, perhaps a "read-a-thon", brainstorming contests (How many nouns can you think of in 60 seconds?), math facts contests, a S.T.E.M. project (something to do with water that can be done outside!), physical contests (How many jumping jacks can you do in 60 seconds?)
  4. After each ceremony, hold a "medal ceremony" for the winners.  I'm thinking some events will be group events, and some will be individual events. Yes, I actually own a CD of national anthems, so I'll play the one that goes with the country they represent, while they display their flag/ banner.
  5. If necessary, I'll come up with my own events, to make sure everyone gets an opportunity to be a winner. (Most people wearing purple?)
  6. Send them home with smiling faces and stories to tell.
Brain research tells us that emotions play a big role in memory. Contests and competition get the blood pumping! Brain research also tells us that the social part of learning is essential. This will include quite a bit of movement, music, artwork, and opportunities for everyone on every team to show their strengths. According to brain research, this will touch on many important points.  

Here are some books with Olympics themes: (Each image is a link to Amazon for more information.)
                                                   
What do you think?  Have you ever done anything like this?  Do you have any ideas for "educational contests"?  Any ideas for organizing it all?

I'm looking forward to your input!



For more ideas and details of my Academic Olympics, as well as a freebie, see THIS POST.






10 Strategies for Surviving Until Summer

We have 21 school days left.  I'm trying not to get stressed out about all the work I have to complete in 21 days.  I much prefer to spend the 21 days enjoying my days with my students. 

Ten Strategies for Surviving Until Summer: None of these ideas will cost you a thing, but they'll keep your students interested and engaged for the last few weeks or days!


But then again.... these kids are "cooked".  They've taken in as much information as they can, and they're starting to get real cranky.  These little angels who have worked hard all year are struggling!



I need to complete the next couple of weeks of our reading program, then the unit test, then the end of the year test!


Ten Strategies for Surviving Until Summer: None of these ideas will cost you a thing, but they'll keep your students interested and engaged for the last few weeks or days!
Here's what I really want to happen the next couple of weeks:  I want to read all my very favorite books and leave the kids with a desire to read this summer!



I also want to finish the curriculum and all the tests, I want to make the end of the year memory books.  I want the children to have pleasant memories of their second grade year.



I want to be ready for my summer vacation!



But we do have to get through the next 21 days.  Somehow!



So, here are some things I plan to do:

1. Play a lot of music-  I do like a variety... soft music for concentration, lively music to get them moving, rowdy music to burn off steam...

2. Bring them outside- Work in opportunities to bring the children outside wherever I can.

3. Loving books- Celebrate books in every way possible!

4. Make 'em laugh- Find plenty of opportunities for laughter.  Laughter is good, and healing as well!

5. Fun- Work plenty of games and fun learning into the day.

6. Move- Get them out of their seats whenever I can.  Get their blood moving to bring oxygen to their brains.

7. Shake it up- Rearrange things... move desks, change the schedule, do something completely different.

8. Pair them up for projects- Being social increases learning and productivity.  Plus, it's fun!

9. Have a contest- Get their pulses moving!

10.Visuals- Find some good educational videos.
These are all things the brain needs for learning.  I try to do this stuff anyway.  I suspect they need it even more than usual this time of year.  It's a hard time of year for all of us, but it's even harder on the kids.  

Ten Strategies for Surviving Until Summer: None of these ideas will cost you a thing, but they'll keep your students interested and engaged for the last few weeks or days!
Ten Strategies for Surviving Until Summer: None of these ideas will cost you a thing, but they'll keep your students interested and engaged for the last few weeks or days!
We WILL make it!  
Summer vacation, here we come!


What are your ideas for the end of the year?

Ten Strategies for Surviving Until Summer: None of these ideas will cost you a thing, but they'll keep your students interested and engaged for the last few weeks or days!

Ten Ways to Motivate Students


Today's post is all about motivating students.

These are ten of the ways I motivate students:

Ten Ways to Motivate Students: ten ideas to get the children to WANT to learn, without having to rob a bank!


Ten Ways to Motivate Students: ten ideas to get the children to WANT to learn, without having to rob a bank!
1.  Pride!  Luckily, there are some students who take pride in themselves and just plain want to do well. They want to make the teacher happy. Don't you love these kids? Don't you wish there were more of these? Unfortunately, there are a lot of kids who don't have pride in themselves, or just don't have enough. Therefore, we need the other nine.


Ten Ways to Motivate Students: ten ideas to get the children to WANT to learn, without having to rob a bank! 2.  Stickers! Children love stickers. A hefty supply is necessary for most teachers of little ones. Personally, I usually only give out stickers for homework, but many teachers give out stickers for daily work. My students work pretty hard for one sticker for homework each day! On special occasions, I'll pull out the scented stickers!

Ten Ways to Motivate Students: ten ideas to get the children to WANT to learn, without having to rob a bank! 3.  Working with a partner!  Kids are social, and the idea of working with another child is super motivating. Let them choose their own partner, and you'll be their hero! They can read with a partner, write a story with a partner, or practice math facts. There's a whole world of possibilities.

4.  Let them earn an extra recess! I think this is a "win-win". We know that kids need to run and exercise and burn off steam. The promise of being able to do what they need to do is motivating for the kids to work! 


5.  Inspire them! I find if I say a few words about a book, the children all want to read that book. If I show them a sample of my writing, they want to try a similar piece of writing. If I make something look interesting or fun, they want to try it. I could never sell cars, but I sure can sell a book to a kid!



Ten Ways to Motivate Students: ten ideas to get the children to WANT to learn, without having to rob a bank!
A few desk decorations in my classroom!
6.  Let them put something cool on their desk for a while!  Personally, I use a collection of beanie babies that I've saved since my daughter was little. They can keep it on their desk for the day. If they do something quite spectacular, I let them keep a little flag on their desk for a week. They are mighty proud of these, and they can tell you what each little trophy is for!

7.  Play a game! There are so many possibilities for games. There are group games like Around the World, Scoot, and variations of Jeopardy, Hollywood Squares, and Family Feud. Then there are partner games, centers, and activities. Sometimes they have so much fun, they don't even realize they're learning!



8.  Group Projects!  When there is a product and a "performance" involved, the kids get moving! Most kids love working in small groups putting together some sort of project, then others are super motivated by the thought of standing in front of their class. They really remember these group projects for years to come.
Ten Ways to Motivate Students: ten ideas to get the children to WANT to learn, without having to rob a bank!
9.  Have a dance party! This works well for my group. You can work out the details, but if they reach a certain point, just stop for the moment, and turn on the music. My kids love this, as it happens to be a group that really responds to music and movement. It only takes a few minutes of the day, and they've had their exercise and burned off some steam. That makes a dance party another "win-win"! Other forms of this type of group reward can be a pizza party or a make your own ice cream party. (The dance party is cheaper, though!)


Ten Ways to Motivate Students: ten ideas to get the children to WANT to learn, without having to rob a bank!10.    Special recognition!  Single out a student for spectacular work. I often read examples of good work, or hold up examples of good effort on handwriting. We do Student of the Week. I have an Super Improvers Wall, where they get stickers and work their way up the ladder when we notice they have improved at something - it can be anything from remembering to pass in homework, to improvement in behavior, to improvement in knowing math facts. One of my students said moving on the improvement board was even better than earning a flag for a week!

This is just a small sampling of the possibilities for motivating students.  How do you motivate your students?


Ten Ways to Motivate Students: ten ideas to get the children to WANT to learn, without having to rob a bank!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Email Format