Snap out of Spring Fever with Inspirational Activities

Hopefully you have time to rest and recharge over Memorial day. Since summer is just around the corner, students can be energetic, distracted and disruptive. Use these teaching strategies and work-life balance tips to keep yourself and your students calm and inspired.


Classroom Management Tip

Transitions can eat away valuable class time. Teachers accidentally cause misbehavior when they use unclear or ambiguous language. A simple way to help transitions move more smoothly is to make several changes to your directions and word choice.

If you do not already use a loud display timer, start now! Enough said. When the timer sounds to signal the end of the Do Now, independent reading, partner work, etc. Many teachers will say, “We are now going to X.” This causes students to start moving around or whispering right when you need their attention the most. A simple change is to say, “Not yet, but in a moment, we are going to X.” This slight shift piques student’s interest enough to listen to the rest of your clear, step-by-step directions. If any students are off-task, you can now use humor or at least positivity, to correct the misbehavior, “I know you are excited to begin the next activity but I said in a moment, not yet.”

Instructional Strategy 

Keep students engaged by NEVER repeating your directions. Instead ask 2-3 students to repeat the instructions or behavior expectations in their own words. Doing this daily will teach students to listen to your instructions the first time.

Remember to always ask the question, pause, and then state the student’s name. If you start with one student’s name, the rest of the class will stop paying attention. Keep kids on their toes by asking, “What is the third step, Kim? The last step, Caitlin? The second step, Charlie? And the first step, Claire? Good..Begin.”

CCSS-Aligned Video Activity

Play the “Why do we fail?” video and either provide a half sheet prompt or ask students to copy the following prompt into their notebooks: “When in the past did you succeed through hard work? When in the past did you give up? How will you remind yourself to never give up and to show the world how great you are?” To use film clips EVERY day to teach academically rigorous reading and writing skills CLICK HERE.

Screen shot 2017-08-20 at 2.26.40 PM

Inspirational Bell Ringer: Have Students Paraphrase a Quote

“Imagine that every person in the world is enlightened but you. They are all your teachers, each doing just the right things to help you learn perfect patience, perfect wisdom, perfect compassion.”  Buddha

Work-Life Balance: 

Meditate for Peace of Mind

  • Meditation can be quick and easy if you make it a daily habit.
  • Simply save 5 minutes each day while you are lying in bed or on the subway to turn off your thoughts
  • To keep your mind from wandering (or racing), focus on your breathing or your heart beating.
    • Imagine the air filling your lungs or the blood pumping from your heart through your veins
    • You can do this laying down or walking around the city
  • The more you practice the longer you will be able to meditate.
  • This will increase overall peace of mind and reduce overall stress

Remember, leave lesson planning at work, and if you can’t, find tons of NO PREP print and go ELA activities, lessons, student handouts, complete unit plans and projects at my TpT store.


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