Making It Work: Surviving the Last Two Weeks
Lesson Ideas to Survive (and Thrive!) Until Summer
I have been watching Facebook posts and it seems that some fortunate souls are already on summer break. If you are one of them – lucky you! Some of us have a few weeks left, and others have a bit longer until we can put our feet up for a few days and relax before beginning to plan for next year! I fall into the “few weeks left” category. If your school is anything like mine, the last two weeks are full of field days, field trips, awards assemblies, talent shows and last minute schedule changes to accommodate end of year activities. Due to the uncertainty of the schedule, I already have my grades wrapped up as I may see my kids only two or three more times in the next two and a half weeks. Add squirrelly kids and too hot classrooms, and planning effective and engaging lessons can be challenging. Here are a few “end of the year” lesson ideas that work for me.
I purchased twenty-five folders with the three prongs in them and added song sheets of all of my students’ favorite songs. I made a playlist on my computer so if I am pulled for an awards assembly or meeting and need a last minute sub plan they can sing. This is a big hit. I made two versions, one for the younger grades, and one for my intermediate grades.
I like to explore new material that I want to use for the coming year. You know that piece from the volumes that you have always wanted to try with your students but you were not quite sure how to process it out or if they would be able to play it? The last few class periods is the perfect time to play around with something new. We never finish the whole piece, the kids have fun playing, and I learn how to teach the music effectively for next year.
Folk Dance review is another favorite for me. I make a playlist of all of the Folk Dances they learned this year and some from the past and we dance until they can dance no more. Now is also a good time to work out a new folk dance you have wanted to try. You may not finish the whole dance, but that’s OK. Pick up where you left off next year.
Name That Tune is a popular game for the last class of the year. I make a list of all of the songs we sang or played and with two teams engaged in fierce competition we play just like the game show. After we guess the song we sing it together.
Lastly, a review of singing games is always a fun way to end the year.
What are your “go to” lessons and ideas for the ever-crazy last two weeks of school? Your idea may be just what someone else needs to make the last few music classes enjoyable for everyone. Post your ideas in the comments below so everyone may share in your amazing ideas and “Make it Work.”