Warm days appear, and students and staff alike start thinking about summer - planning for rest and relaxation. However, there is much to accomplish at this time of year, and there is a lot at stake. Summative assessments and final marking term grades carry a lot of weight, and teachers feel the pressure to prepare for standardized tests and complete challenging curriculums. How can we get the most out of ourselves and our students at this point?
First, it's a good idea to do some self-reflection by asking yourself: What is my energy level like right now? Am I working late without a break? What have I done for myself lately that lifts my spirit, sparks humor, or engages creativity?
Second, teachers can provide opportunities for students to do some self-reflection: How are they feeling moving into the final quarter? In a quick survey, it's possible to uncover students' favorite lessons and activities to date. Students can also rank or prioritize remaining curriculum-related topics, based on interest; this work could be the foundation of an independent, summative project. Students can also help create Essential and Guiding questions for a unit and help design choices for demonstrating their learning. With guidance, they can even help create checklists and rubrics to assess this learning, based on their content standards. When they are able to give input and make choices, students' motivation increases!
Check out these files about the Question Formulation Technique. It's a highly engaging, low-prep strategy, and it can jumpstart a new unit for you and your students!
Question Formulation Techique: