5 tips to motivate students to finish strong this school year

As the end of the school year nears, not only are educators “teacher tired,” but students are also lacking motivation and drive. The end is so near, yet it feels so far! What are some ways we can spice up the last couple of weeks and add some spark to our teaching and learning environments? Here are five tips:

1. Engage in research projects. Once state testing is completed, one of my favorite things to do with my classroom is research projects. Students have so much fun engaging in these types of projects from beginning to end. Educators can be as lenient or as structured as they want to be and as the age group requires. The topic opportunities are endless, and educators can even teach students about internet safety before and during these projects. At the end, students can present their findings and teach the class about their topic.

2. Allow them to be teacher for a day. This activity is so engaging and fun for students. Teachers can choose a student per day (or a couple) to be the Teacher. They are in charge of teaching the class a chosen topic on that day! This does not have to be an academic topic either. Students can take their block of time and teach their peers how to tie their shoes, how to make their favorite recipe, the opportunities are endless.

3. Inspire learning from around the world. Grab the fake passports and take your students on a journey they won’t forget! Spend a desired period of time learning about different countries, reading, watching videos, and even creating native recipes. Students can get their passports stamped and even write in their journals about their favorite part of each country. This activity has so much potential and room for creativity.

4. Students for hire. Take your class on an adventure to corporate America! Create resumes, mock interviews, and hire students for real world jobs or even just jobs around the class. Take it a step further and pay them for the classroom jobs but also charge them for rent (their desk) and supplies. Persuasive writing and math lessons are endless in relation to this activity.

5. Go outdoors! This may seem like a basic concept, but simply moving lessons outdoors can change the entire dynamic and outlook of learning for a child. Having fresh air and sitting on grass instead of a desk can spark interest and excitement.

Remember, the school year is not over, and students absorb the energy educators put out. If we pour creativity and fun into the last weeks of school, they are bound to be excited and not lose the joy of learning.

These are just five ideas; join us on Facebook at Arizona PBS KIDS to share your ideas on how we can motivate students to learn as the school year comes to a close.

About the author

Marissa Will is the mother of two, Olivia (6) and Logan (4). Writing was her first passion: she’s a freelance writer and a Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication alumna. Will is currently educating the future leaders of tomorrow: She has spent the past nine years educating third grade with a master’s degree in elementary education from Northern Arizona University-Yuma.

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