Do your students have spring fever? Here are 15 creative ways to use that extra energy in the classroom.
This time of year the earth is alive with bright splashes of color and exuberant sounds. All around this great country from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Bend, Oregon and all the wonderful districts in between, students and teachers have Spring Fever! The excitement outdoors, along with warmer temperatures and the promise of summer vacation, can make it difficult for students to concentrate on classroom activities. But, lessons need not only occur through textbooks and worksheets.
Real learning should be as dynamic and changing as the seasons. Instead of allowing spring fever to disrupt your classroom, use all that extra enthusiasm to spark some new discoveries, both indoors and out.
Get a Fresh Start!
Sometimes the best way to get students inspired is to make an adjustment in the environment. Spring is the perfect time to do a thorough cleaning and re-organization of your classroom. Check out these websites to find some innovative ways to cut down on classroom clutter and focus on learning.
This site has a great blog that offers ways to conquer classroom messes, help students keep track of their homework, create storage with items you already have, find tips of creating digital student portfolios and more!
2. Betterlesson.com– Kaleidoscope Eyes Lesson
If spring cleaning and a fresh new approach isn’t enough to keep students’ enthusiasm in the classroom, perhaps a change in perspective will do the trick. This 8th grade math lesson posted by Mauricio Beltre incorporates materials from the dollar store, but we recommend finding some free replacements in nature! Your students will really get excited to experience a bright, colorful, shape-shifting view of the world around them while sneaking in some important math concepts like symmetry, reflection, and geometry.
This is a great time to freshen up your lesson plan catalog. What better place than a website that provides free lesson plans written by literary experts? Try this one: Multiple Perspectives: Critical Thinking Skills by Shannon Bradford! This gem helps students understand how the world can look through very different through different eyes. After reading Diary of a Spider by Doreen Cronin, students will analyze the different perspectives and write a creative piece capturing another point of view. This lesson is filled with opportunities for outdoor exploration and adventure to aid the analysis and creative writing piece.
Bust a move!
Even with an organized classroom and a new perspective, students may still be reluctant to stay at their desks this time of year. So, get them up and moving! Here are some sites designed to give your kids a “brain break” and get them re-energized to learn.
This site made our list for two reasons: (1) Their slogan is, “Because Learning should be Fun,” AND (2) They have a host of great resources for teachers that need a quick infusion of creativity and motivational push to get them through the last few months of the year. Check out their blog, 20 three-minute Brain Breaks by Rachel Lynette for a few fun short games that get your kids moving and focused.
Bevin K. Reinen’s website is devoted to innovative teaching tips and online resources for teachers and students. We want to feature their blog on 20 best brain-break videos. Bookmark these videos and have them on hand for the moment your students need help to fight their fidgeting!
We can’t overlook the leader in brain-break websites. Students of all ages (though geared towards elementary) will love the goofy custom-made videos designed to keep students moving, track their progress and quickly get them back to learning.
No matter how energized and inspirational your classroom is, when the sun is shining and the birds are singing, kids will long to be outdoors. So…. Take them out! And, bring your lesson plans with you.
This site is not just devoted to preserving our nation’s habitat, but educating our nation’s youth as well. Featured lessons include, Habitat Hunt, Sensory Discovery Walk, and Tree Detective. All Science lessons are designed for grades K-8 and are aligned to the National Science Education Standards.
The Global, Environmental, & Outdoor Education Council also offer some fun and engaging lessons for outdoor learning. Check out their lesson plan section, organized by grade, make a quick print and get your students outside tomorrow!
School gardens are all the rage, but finding the resources, getting support, planning and executing such a task is difficult to take on by yourself. If you need professional development and are interested in proposing a school garden to your school, this course is an excellent option. Learn how to plan, implement and teach with a garden to provide authentic learning in your unique space.
Spring is the perfect time for experimentation and observation in nature’s greatest gift: our farms. For those of you that already have a school garden or access to local farms, check out this site and browse the many lessons on integrating farming and gardening into the classroom.
Learn about transformations!
Spring is a time for change. It makes sense since it happens after about 7 months of school, everyone is ready for a change! Since change is happening naturally all around us this time of year, it’s easy to integrate the concept of metamorphosis into the spring science curriculum. Here are three websites that offer great lessons on the classic metamorphosis concepts:
This site provides teachers with background information, planning ahead tips, motivation, content, hands-on activities and varied assessment options for the classic lesson, Parts of a Plant.
Lessons on metamorphosis aren’t just for 3rd graders! The USDA has lessons and resources to discuss life cycle changes for all levels K-12. Science teachers, use this site for the best Monarch Butterfly lesson this spring!
Stare out the window…Seriously!
The weather in the springtime can be unpredictable. Clear days are the perfect time to introduce lessons about the sun and solar energy. But, even rainy days can provide learning opportunities. NASA has created some incredible lesson plans about precipitation, climate, and weather. But our honorable mention in this list goes to…
On days when your kids are particularly restless, use this site to find loads of amazing weather information, projects, and lesson plans.
Take a break!
14. A Mighty Girl
This adorable site is a massive book organizer. They even have a section dedicated to celebrating spring! Don’t let the sweet vibe fool you, books for students of all ages are recommended and available for purchase.
This site is designed for young adult readers. Check out the list of recommended books and suggest a few for your students to start over spring break! (Yeah, right!)! In any case, it’s a great resource for parents looking to get that perfect book for their growing student.
Even as we celebrate spring, we are looking forward to summer vacation and the extra time that it brings. Summer is a great time to catch up on those necessary Professional Development courses that you have been putting off all year. The Teacher’s Academy is a convenient, affordable way to obtain the credits you need in a way that won’t put a damper on your summer fun. Our classes can be completed wherever your summer plans take you! Check out our online catalog today to find an extensive list of Act 48 approved courses to handle your professional development needs at your convenience.