There are about 4 weeks of school this year after the latest testing week we’ve ever had, and now we’re down to 3 more weeks of school. Woohoo!
And since my students have already taken THE TEST and are no doubt exhausted from all of the information I’ve shoved their way, I’m DONE TEACHING!
What will I do during the last four weeks of school? Sit back and let my students do the hard work!
What I will do:
What I will NOT do:
– stand up in front of students in May and continue to deliver lessons – NOPE!
This is the time of year that I just…
I have tried teaching in May in years past, and it’s one of the worst experiences of my life. Plus, I’ve taught so much information already, and this is the perfect time to let my students apply all of that knowledge independently. And I don’t mean busy work- even though (I won’t lie) I’ve certainly considered it – because that would be almost as bad as actually teaching!
For these last few weeks, I’ve grouped my students – almost like we’re doing literature circles again – but for my own sanity and ease of implementation they’re all reading the same books. We did this with If a Tree Falls at Lunch Period and now Wonder.
I’m using iPod shuffles and splitters so that my students can listen together in their groups and each group can work at their own pace. I gave students different roles so that the day-to-day routines can flow well and responsibilities can be shared. And, I made a huge checklist of what to do and how to do it. I ran off the rules/norms, roles, and checklist, handed them out, and my students are doing the rest. Yep! It’s beautiful.
Here’s the first side of the handout that has the group norms and responsibilities/roles:
This is highly personalized for my class, but hopefully it’ll be helpful in really showing you how I’m doing and organizing this and give you some ideas to do something similar. You can also download the PDF here. Sorry, I don’t have it in editable format.
If you don’t have iPods or even laptops that the students can use for listening to audiobooks, you can always just have them take turns reading aloud so that they’re still reading as a group. But, let me tell you.. the silence that befalls the room when all of my students are plugged in to the book is absolutely ah-mazing!
And just in case that doesn’t take us all the way to the end of the year, I have some rigorous, interactive busy work. Nope, that’s not an oxymoron!