Spring fever got you down? Is your elementary class driving you crazy? Here are 5 tips for dealing with Spring Fever in the elementary classroom. Hang in there! Summer is on it’s way!
1. Routine, Routine, Routine
You know how in real estate they say it’s all about location? Well, in elementary school, it’s all about routine, consistency and predictability. Spring time is a great time for a lot of things; but not for rear-ranging your classroom or your routines. If they have always picked their lunch choice before they hang up their bookbags, then by all means continue this right up to the last day . Along with every other banal task you spent all that time drilling into their heads in the fall. Trust me on this.
2. Stimulate the Senses
Children are stimulated by the sunlight, the longer days, the bright colors…the pollen. They crave action and touch and sensory involvement more than any other time of the year. Give them work that feeds into this need. Color, cut, glue. Use a variety of materials, Play some music in the background. I’m not talking about just playing and doing art for the last month of school but instead of coloring a worksheet and labeling plant parts; why not give them construction paper and yarn and have them construct a plant and cut out and glue on labels for all the parts. Have a kidstube song about plants playing in the background.
3. Incorporate Movement
Don’t just read your sight words. Snap, clap and tap them. Do a GoNoodle as a segue activity. Exit the lunchroom on the outside and walk around the building to your room instead of down the hallway. Allow students to stand while completing independent work, as long as they are not disrupting others.
4. Show the Love
Children will be talking a lot about their next grade. Ask any first grader in April and they will tell you that they are “ALMOST a second grader”. This is an exciting time but also anxiety producing for young children. Many of them spend more time with you than their mom and whether they admit it or not, whether they slip and say it or not, they all think of you in some way as a parent. Make sure to reassure them of your affec-tion. Tell them how much you will miss them next year. Tell them how much you love them. How lucky you were to have them in your room. Assure them that their next teacher will love them as much. The old “Wait till next year!” attitude is not helpful. Tell them how nice the next years teachers are; not how mean they are. That only feeds their insecurity and causes more disruptive behavior.
5. Add in Some Fun
The last couple of months of school, I always like to add in something that this particular class loves. You’ve been with them all year, you know what they like. It’s different every year. Sometimes you have a class that just loves a read aloud. If so, incorporate a time to read a chapter book to them. I recently read aloud to some second graders and when my third and fourth graders saw the book in my cart (EIP, I roll room to room) they begged me to read it to them. So even the older elementary kids love this. If they are super interested in animals; bring in a class pet for the last couple of months If they love art, then plan some fun projects for those rainy spring days when you stay inside for recess. art projects
How do you survive those last few weeks of school? Share your ideas in the comments!