Spring Fever? 5 Secrets to Cure it in Your Classroom!

5:30 AM

It’s that time of year when Spring Fever hits. The weather is warming up, along with misbehavior. It’s also a stressful time of year as teachers are pushing to get students to benchmark before the end of the year assessments. With learning at such a critical point and students just wanting to get out of the classroom, spring fever is hitting hard.  So, how do you cure spring fever so you can use this time for instruction? You don’t! Rather embrace it and use it for your teaching.  Below you will find 5 fun ways to get students to learn without them even realizing it.

1. Sidewalk chalk

Need to write? Why not go outside and write with sidewalk chalk.  This colorful writing utensil is perfect for writing sight words, math facts, and even short stories.  You can assign each student a color and then have them start writing a short story. Set a bell for 2 min. When the timer rings students find a short story on the blacktop that is a different color than their chalk and continues the story. Set the timer for another 2 minutes.  Students will switch to a work on a third short story to write an ending. When everyone is finished have students read each of the stories out loud. These silly stories written in sidewalk chalk is a sure winner to cure Spring Fever.

2.  Large Motor Trivia

Before going outside, or at the beginning of play lay out papers that have different skills that you want students to learn (numbers for math skills, sight words, grammar words, science classifications, etc.).  Students will race to stand on a paper that fits the command given by the teacher. If there is not a paper to stand on those students are out. For example using multiple copies of the numbers 1-10 give commands such as, “Find an even number.  Find a number less than 5.  Find a Number greater than 7. What number plus 6 will equal 10?  What number minus 2 will equal 7?” When students get out you can have them be judges to make sure students are standing on the correct number. Take away a few numbers as the group gets smaller so there will always be students who go out with each round. Replay as long as the numbers hold up. This large motor racing game will not only wear out your students’ energy but they will build fluency with any standard.

     Science Experiments

There are so many fun science experiments that you can do with kids during this time of year.  Science is a fun and fascinating subject that almost appears magical to children.  Here’s one you might enjoy- Exploding Baggies! To complete this experiment you will need the following materials:
       Sealable baggies (TIP: Get the ones with zippers)
       Food Coloring
       Baking Soda
Fill 1/3 of each baggie with vinegar and food coloring.  Twist the baggie and use the clothespin to seal the vinegar mixture. Pour baking soda into the top of the baggie and then seal the entire bag. When you are ready to watch the explosion take the clothespin off and allow the baggie to untwist. As the baggie untwists the vinegar and baking soda will mix creating a pressurized explosion in the baggie. These colorful explosions will bring excitement and enjoyment to cool down anyone’s Spring Fever.

4.  Story Retelling

There are so many fun stories that you have read this year.  Why not go outside and put on a large scale retelling of the story.  Turn the school yard into a theater by having a few trees be a forest, the playground can be turned into a castle, and the basketball hoop might turn into a beanstalk. Have students brainstorm how different areas of the school grounds can be turned into different settings. Then allow students time to create props and signs for their imaginative play.  After about 30 minutes of creating and setting up students can play and reenact stories of their own. Whether they retell the original stories or create their own, students will be too busy to remember they have spring fever.  

1.    Jump Rope Rhymes

Share some of your favorite jump rope rhymes with your students. Need help with rhymes check out 101 different rhymes, “Anna Banna: 101 Jump Rope Rhymes” by Joanna Cole. After sharing and jumping have students create their own jump rope rhyme. What motions will they do with the jump rope? Students can test out their new rhymes on the playground. What a fun silly way to practice reading, writing, rhyming, grammar, spelling, and get physical exercise.
Spending time outdoors moving will increase the oxygen flow to your students’ brains and allow them to get some much needed vitamin D breaking spring fever forever. This will allow you not only time to teach but your students will be much more able to absorb the information being taught because their bodies will be functioning at top performance level.  

Why not share with other teachers in the comments below what you do to break that Spring Fever in your classroom? 


Becky Cothern
Family and Child Development Lab

by Becky Cothern

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