Tomorrow, Education Week/Teacher will be publishing an excerpt from my new book’s chapter on “What can I do to help keep my students – and me – focused at the end of the school year?”
I hope people find the various ideas I share there helpful.
Last week I tried out a new idea that I don’t share in the book that I thought was worth “a shot.”
During our regular Friday reflection, I asked students to answer two questions:
1) What are some things you can do to stay positive during the last seven weeks of school?”
2) What are some things Mr. Ferlazzo can do to help you stay positive during the last seven weeks of school?”
We did a quick think-write-pair-share, and then had some students share to the entire class. I thought it was a quick and useful exercise. I think it reinforced for me that I’m on the right track for my end-of-semester plans, and it served as a reminder for me that I really do need to be at my best as the year winds down. For students, I hope it served as another reminder that ending the year well is important.
Here are a few sample responses:
What are some things you can do to stay positive during the last seven weeks of school?
I can stay positive these last seven weeks by thinking positive. For example, say to myself that I’m going to do fine and think about my goals.
Not think negatively and look for problems.
I can try not to be lazy and stay active instead of falling asleep.
I can get more sleep.
I can think of positive things.
Try to overcome challenges and be happy.
Get more sleep.
One thing that can help me stay positive is thinking about my future and what I’m going to be when I graduate and thinking that my family is proud of me.
What are some things Mr. Ferlazzo can do to help you stay positive during the last seven weeks of school?
He should let me eat in class and bring me food.
Just stay the way you are.
Don’t give us a lot of work but only some.
Mr. Ferlazzo can just be the teacher he always is.
Mr. Ferlazzo can slow down on the homework.
Continue being a good teacher.
Give us candy.
Mr. Ferlazzo could talk to us about being a sophomore.
Mr. Ferlazzo should give us free time to take a nap.
Mr. Ferlazzo can help me stay positive by telling me everyday “good job, you done well” and say to me that I’m a superstar.
Teach more new stuff and do things that are fun in class.