Thursday, May 2, 2019

Tried & True Solution for Teacher Tired

We are in the home stretch! Once state testing is over, it's time to start winding down the year. Anyone else ready for summer?!
This teacher meme made me laugh out loud because it definitely reflects how I'm feeling at this time of the school year! LOL
What's the best way to deal with teacher tired? #thestruggleisreal  Let your students take over! Huh? Over the last couple of weeks of school, each student signs up to teach the class a lesson.  I love telling my kids that I'm done teaching and now they get to be the teacher. Their eyes open wide and they immediately begin thinking of all the things they know and are good at.  Students write a lesson plan (teachers in training!) and submit it a couple of days in advance of their lesson. I can review it and foresee any possible problems. Grab your FREE lesson plan pdf  HERE or by clicking on the image below. If you want a Google Slide version, click HERE
Every year I am simply amazed at my kids' talents, interests, and the range of topics. This is the perfect opportunity to allow students to shine in non-academic ways! In the past, students have taught their classmates how to draw anime characters, how to shoot a 3-pointer in basketball, how to fence, make slime, make bread with homemade butter, and how to fold origami!

One year, a student wanted to teach piano to the class. Undaunted by the fact that there was just one piano, she surveyed the class about their experience with music and piano. Based on the results of her survey, she categorized students into novice, beginner, some experience, and experts. She selected specific excerpts of sheet music for each student (!): the novices had only two notes that required only the right hand and she labeled their paper keyboards with notes. She differentiated for each student, up to those who take piano lessons by giving them sheet music that required using both hands (treble & bass clefs, that she labeled: right hand & left hand) and paper keyboards with no notes. After circulating while students "practiced" on their paper keyboards, she called students up to the piano to play their piece. Oh my goodness!! That lesson planning must have taken hours!! 
And don't you love your outside-the-box thinkers? When this student proposed his idea of teaching the class "How to be Awesome", I thought he was trying to be a smart-aleck. Wow, did he ever surprise me! He was completely prepared with a powerpoint presentation on the definition of "awesome". After introducing the dictionary definition, he asked for examples from students. Each slide built on the idea that you make yourself awesome because the definition is as unique as each individual. He also emphasized how awesome it is to be kind, caring, and treating others as if they are awesome! I was practically in tears, as he was teaching! Classmates were cheering :) #bestillmyheart 
Students get such a kick out of taking over as the teacher (& a better understanding at how difficult it is to teach when kids talk and blurt out!) and they gain new respect from classmates for their unique strengths! We all learn so much! (And it makes the end of the school year a whole lot more fun, as well as re-energizing the teacher!)

What special activities do you do to wrap up the school year? We want you to end the year with a celebratory bang! Check out these other free ideas for your upper elementary students and let us do the planning for you!

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