Keeping Students on Track at the End of the Year

Keywords: Instructional Strategies, General Information, K-6


As the end of the year nears, motivating students is a task few of us look forward to. Not only are some of our tried and true methods becoming tired out, but our students tend to rush through assignments, disregarding the quality of the work they are producing. Of course, we know that their learning is stymied by such negligence. And they are at the point where many things we say go in one ear and out the other. So how can we get these students, often those who are above average intelligence, to slow down, put their minds to work, and complete assignments to the best of their ability?

First things first... Make yet another attempt to force the children to care about their assignments. Reinforce the fact that the end of this year is not the end of their education OR their learning career. (How many of us are still taking classes now?) The things that they are learning this year they will also need to know next year; therefore it is always in their best interest to master these skills now. It makes next year that much easier.

Of course, this pep talk will not work for many (if not most) of your students. However, one simple way to curb this rushing through assignments is to take note of students you notice are not working up to their potential. When assignments are done in class, pay special attention to these kids, and ask to see their papers when they hand them in. This forces them to take another look at what they are turning in. They also realize that you are paying attention to their assignments right away, and they won't "get away with" hurrying through them. This does require some extra work on your part, but it is well worth it in the long run. Keeping a hawk-like eye on your students at all times is not always possible when they are doing work, though, especially if they are working on it at home. In these cases, you may try a reward system for assignments completed in general. In many instances, students will take much more time in completing their assignments in order to reap the benefits of the reward system. A great one to try is give the students a certain amount of credit for an A, B, or C (respectively). For example, an A is worth three stamps, a B is worth two, etc. When the student receives 10 stamps, he earns a certificate. When he earns five certificates he is the guest of honor at a special luncheon, along with other students who have earned this reward and the principal, who can now meet the students who do not get in trouble, as well.

Keeping students motivated at this time of the year is important. Not only will they be more successful in your classroom, but it will help their teachers next year (possibly you if you are looping) from having to reteach more information.

This Information was taken from the Teacher's Edition Online Newsletter.

Uploaded By: Jodi Gray/KSU/Deaf Education Major