It’s The End Of The Year…Let’s Act Like Fools!

Is it just me, or do students seem to get to the end of the year and begin ignoring rules and classroom procedures that have been established all year long? This is my first time at my current middle school and it’s worse than anywhere else I’ve taught before. Already. And TAKS is next week, followed by six weeks of school. I hear they’ll get way worse.

What are some strategies you use to keep the students on task as they seem to shut down at this point in the year?

About Joel Wagner 522 Articles
Joel Wagner (@sywtt) began teaching band in 2002. Though he had a lot of information, his classes were out of control. He found himself tired, frustrated, disrespected by students, lonely, and on the brink of quitting. He had had enough. He resigned from his school district right before spring break of his second year and made it his personal mission to learn to be a great teacher. So You Want To Teach? is the ongoing story of that quest for educational excellence.

3 Comments on It’s The End Of The Year…Let’s Act Like Fools!

  1. I like to keep the kids busy with various activities. I try to do less lecture and more “doing”. This is a great time of the year for trying new things. I will admit that I do have more discipline trouble at this time of the year, but by keeping them engaged by “doing”, I limit it somewhat.

    Of course, with music, I suppose you don’t do much lecture anyway. You’re probably getting ready for spring concerts?

  2. Exactly. I find that keeping the engaged is the best way to get things done. That means not stopping to fix mistakes as much as I would like to, but keeping them playing nearly the entire class.

    A reader emailed me the following suggestions:

    maintain your classroom routines and expectations – the kids will take their cue from you if they see you slowing down
    keep the kids engaged in the program – shake things up, ask them to demonstrate their understanding of concepts using their personal learning style; have students engaged in kinesthetic activities such as model making, building
    make the students accountable: have them make one minute speeches reviewing your lesson or a concept; have student paraphrase your instructions; assign segments students can prepare and present to the rest of the class that would support your unit of study
    give the students something to look forward to at the completion of the present unit of study, i.e. an afternoon of … Then, help the class organize themselves into committees to implement this special afternoon. The special afternoon is a reward for them, and they will have the opportunity to plan, organize and implement the activity.

  3. I usually save one or two creative projects for the end of the year. This year we’re preparing a Renaissance-themed event, complete with costumes and stuff. In the past, I’ve also done things like splitting the main groups into ensembles and what not.

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