Just because the standardized testing we all know and love has finally come to an end, does not mean that school has. No matter what grade level you teach there is still much left to do for the remainder of the year; even for seniors.
I told my junior students I am now focusing on getting them ready for their senior year. Their new teacher will love me for it. Besides finishing out the text book, there is no reason these students should not be getting a jump on resumes, learn how to fill out job applications, or write award-winning scholarship and college essays, the list can and does go on.
The state and district-wide standardized tests, while they do factor into the class grade for most students, are not an accurate reflection of what students have actually learned in class. Students need to feel they have come to class every day for 180 days for a reason. Standardized tests do not make them feel that way. While the skills and foundational knowledge in class are transferable to these tests, the students are quick to recognize these test bear little resemblance to lessons taught and specific content learned daily.
It is important that teachers not just pack it in now that these tests are over. English teachers can teach that favorite novel they just did not have time for prior to testing. Science and math teachers can pull out that STEM project they have been drooling over. History teachers can have their students work on a cumalative museum project.
The last thing any of us want for the last two to three weeks of schools is to sit in idle boredom and have the kids with glazed over eyes texting and “liking” on their phones. Worse yet, skipping class.
Some other ideas:
- Socratic Seminars
- Create a Broadcast
- Write and Act out a Play
- Teacher for a Day
- Film Critiques
- Role Plays
- Create a Puzzle
- Paint a Mobile Mural
- Start a Fundraiser
Do something. Your kids and your brain will thank you for it.
Then… you can have a truly great summer!