This is my favorite time of year! Students work so hard throughout the year (regrettably – intently focused on test taking) that they deserve to have opportunities to “shine” while enjoying the activities (once considered best practice) that they should have learned with throughout the year.
Some of the activities in my classrooms have been:
- Survey students – ask them what they would like to learn about in the last weeks that you may not have touched on during the year.
- Review favorite stories and/or units taught throughout the year using the arts and hands-on activities that scheduling may not have allowed time for during the year.
- Presenting plays
- Creating scenery backdrops
- Create puppet stages using file folders, pvc pipes, and cardboard boxes
- Writing songs that review content learned
- Publish a class magazine featuring student writing and illustrations
- Plan a concert for grade levels featuring individual classroom presentations
- Involve parents – invite parents to an end-of-year pizza or ice-cream party
- Plan interesting field trips – unique to your school’s geographic area
- Plan unit instruction unique to geographic areas – i.e.: Ocean/sea life studies, mountain/wildlife studies, desert habitat studies, etc.
Closing out your school year with enjoyable learning activities will leave you and your students eager to come to class the last few weeks and looking forward to returning in the new school year. Enjoy!
Posted in education creativity, education innovation, end of the year, Grades 6-12, Grades K-5, learning fun, Lesson Planning, Motivation
Tagged Arts, concerts, dramatics, field trips, laugh, music and learning, puppetry
In his postlude to The Mozart Effect author Don Campbell shares miracle stories of treatment and cure through music. Excerpts recount music and its role in the treatment and healing of abuse, pain, aggressive and antisocial behavior, attention deficit disorder, depression, developmental delays, high blood pressure, etc. The benefits of music are limitless.
As the American educational system seeks to cut the arts from classroom experience, we see children and adolescents seek out more available forms of art – usually portraying the more violent and dark side of life. Young people perceive, and then opt to imitate the art that fuels their imagination.
Education can offer a positive approach to fueling that imagination leading toward the productive lives we want our children to meet by providing a healthier experience.
There are those trying to do that. Be sure to watch as CBS’s 48 HOURS presents The Whole Gritty City, Saturday, February 15th at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
Some say society is ill and we need to do something to heal it. Will we help?
“Each illness has a musical solution. The shorter and more complete the solution, the greater the musical talent of the physician.”
Posted in black history month, Classroom Management, curricula, education creativity, education innovation, exceptional education, Grades 6-12, Grades K-5, life lessons, making a difference, Motivation, Students, teacher responsibilities, teaching
Tagged healing power of music, music and kids, music and learning, music and society, music in schools, music's power, The Whole Gritty City, why music matters