What am I selling? Math education
Who are my clients? My students
How is the market this time of year? TERRIBLE
Why? Because it’s the end of the year and they are burnt out!
What am I going to do now?! Sell it with a SMILE! And a few other tips…
1 – SMILE.
It’s the end of the school year and everyone seems tired, bummed to be at school, and over learning/teaching. But let’s take a moment and think back to the beginning of the school year when you were anxious to get back to the classroom and see your students. You had a pep in our step and you were smiling from ear to ear. This is the person that needs to finish the year off right! There are several studies that show that smiling is very powerful. You can find information on these studies and others in this article by Ron Gutman from Forbes or from his TedTalk. The main points are summarized below, to give you an idea of what a smile can do for you and your students.
2 – SURPRISES.
If you are still giving out quizzes, as I am, surprise your students one day with a partner quiz or open note quiz, but don’t tell them until the day of the quiz. I did this the other day and you could visually see the weight and stress being lifted off of their shoulders. Some may think it’s not good to allow this type of quiz, but I find the opposite. Students take more time to discuss problems with their partner or go through their notes more thoroughly to be sure they are using the right process. At the end of the day, they will need to know this material for the final, so to ease the pain a bit, give them this little surprise.
3 – CONTINUE THE FUN.
Whatever you do that makes your class fun and engaging, keep it up! Keep playing games, using student whiteboards, fun hands-on projects, stations, etc. If you weren’t doing any of these things…GAH! Get your little tail over to TeachersPayTeachers.com and find some fun!!!
4 – THE FUTURE.
What do you and your students have to look forward to? Talk about those things. It could be their summer plans, course schedule for next school year, their interests, college, work, life, etc. I find that students enjoy these conversations and it takes their mind off of the present stress they have with final exams on the horizon.
Looking for more ideas on how to keep students motivated, happy, and engaged the final days of the school year? Check out this blog post by Scaffolded Math and Science where other teachers share their tips and tricks.