Cultivating Minds Without Losing My Own

Cultivating Minds Without Losing My Own

One Teacher's Guide To Elementary School Survival

Surviving June

The end of the year is near and the trickiest part of teaching is upon us.  How do we deliver meaningful instruction when our students have checked out for the summer already?  I mean seriously how is math, reading, and writing to compete with pools, beaches, and baseball?!  Below are some of the techniques I have been using with success over the past few weeks.  Now is the time to beg, borrow, and steal all the great ideas we can get our hands on to survive the final stretch of the year and end it on an academic high.


Contact your local Department of Fish and Wildlife.  They are filled to the gills (no pun intended) with tadpoles and other creepy crawlies that they would love to share with your class.  Below is our tadpoles we are raising thanks to our Department of Fish and Wildlife and our Practicum Student from Rowan University, Mrs. Waterman.

Break out the messy yet fun science experiments that you haven't been able to get through.  Here are our lava lamps made with recycled bottles, vegetable oil, water, food coloring, and alka seltzer.  Fill bottle half way with oil then top off with water.  Once that settles (a lesson in and of itself) add 10-15 drops of food coloring and an quarter of a tab of alka seltzer and voila a lava lamp show lasting 30 seconds.  This can be repeated as often as you want by simply adding more alka seltzer!

The Olympics are this summer.  Why not pregame the event by hosting your own school olympics?  Line up some classes to compete with in a variety of track and field and team events.  Keep track of scores, graph wins and then you can tie all this fun into your math curriculum!


The month of June is a blessing and a curse.  We look forward to seeing our students' growth yet dread the inevitable lack of motivation that comes hand in hand with the end of the year.  Relish the final moments and successes of the year while sending it out with a bang!

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