I am not saying that these final weeks of school shouldn't be fun - I get it. The year is ending, things are closing down. I was a teacher, so I know exactly what the end of school is like. But - it is possible to continue learning and doing content related things that are fun and relevant, versus resorting to watching movies. It worries me, especially when districts are 'adding time to the school year to increase student achievement'. If that time results in things like watching movies or playing cards (yes...that happened too), then I am not seeing the increase in student achievement. Increased time for student achievement only works if it is being used for learning - not watching time-filler movies.
- Instead of drill-and-kill review worksheets, how about the students identify the areas they want to review, then assign small groups specific areas to create a review summary and present it to the class? Gets them talking and working together. Or - have each group create a review game from the key areas and then swap games. I've done this in math classes and it was a hoot!
- If you are going to watch a movie, pick a movie that is relevant to the content you teach, identify key concepts you want them to identify while watching the movie, and then have them write up a summary of how those key concepts played out in the movie. For me, I always showed "Donald Duck in Mathemagic Land" and then we would do math activities related to things in the movie (usually with Sketchpad) - so The Golden Ratio, or pool-table simulations, or fraction instruments.
- Use technology - i.e. a software tool you never got around to using with your students, creating a class video, using some type of social media tool (blog, wiki, Twitter, etc.). Let the students explore or create a project using technology that ties together what they have learned. In my math classes, students use to do an end of year Sketchpad project, where they created dynamic sketches showing the concepts they had learned (there were specific concepts focused on or maybe these were the concepts they wanted to review for the exam. Often times it included student choice of 10-12 concepts.)
- Playing cards - I admit - I did this with my students. HOWEVER - we also collected data, used Fathom to determine the probability (and now you could use TinkerPlots as well by creating a sampler) and guessed the probability of winning certain games, of drawing specific hands, etc. It was fun, but we were doing mathematics.