Every teacher knows that the end of the year can present some classroom management challenges. Kids are excited about summer, there are loose ends to tie up with library books and paperwork, and for some reason students think that when state testing is over, so is all the learning. So, I am trying something new this year–Using SCIENCE to encourage excellent behavior! I love science. My students love science. And there are so many great hands-on activities that don’t quite fit into the year. Why not do those NOW as the year is winding down?
Here’s my plan. I’m starting with an owl pellet lab. Owl pellets are great for reviewing life science concepts like food chains, ecosystems, and much more! So, to encourage great behavior, we have set a goal that our class needs to earn 10 points to earn the owl pellet lab and we will track our points each day. When we reach 10, we earn the owl pellet lab! The sooner we reach 10 points, the sooner we get to dig in to those owl pellets. I’ve even posted a chart in the room to track our points, and since we are working with integers, I’ve tied that in too.
I am also planning to build solar powered ovens for cooking smores and to build and test paper airplanes, but students are going to have to earn it! My kids are excited and I could see this working for all kinds of things–reader’s theater, math art projects, and much more. Want to know a secret? I actually planned to do this stuff anyway, but now I get a little more bang for my buck with a little class motivation.
–The Pensive Sloth