Featured Insights Dec 13

6 ways to end the school semester on a high note

You’re in the final sprint! Winter break is within sight. While this time of year is exciting, it also comes with its fair share of challenges. You may start to see symptoms of the pre-break fidgets and a noticeable dip in motivation. From restless energy to getting easily distracted, it’s normal for you and your class to be in need of a recharge. (It’s been a long year, after all.) Along is here to help you connect with your students over the highs and lows that come with the end of a semester. 

Here are 6 activities that will help you and your students survive — and thrive — as the year comes to a close.

  1. Check in with Along.

As you race to finish projects and meet deadlines, it may be tempting to hold off on checking in with your students until the new year. However, connecting with your students will give everyone a boost of energy. Reflecting with students over academic and personal milestones is a powerful reminder that your role as teacher makes a big difference. And being transparent about your own pre-break challenges will comfort students and show that they aren’t alone in feeling fatigued.

  1. Lean into the season.

Holiday festivities during the winter season have a tendency to make everything merry and bright. So go ahead and add a little sparkle to your lesson plans, too. From teaching about arctic environments to discussing the cultures of people who live in snow, you can use the winter season as inspiration for your next history, science, or geography lesson.

  1. Discover what motivates students.

Through Along, you can ask students what they need to finish the year in a positive way. Let their answers inform you about how they’re feeling, how they refresh their focus, and what type of encouragement they need to get through these final weeks. Explore the Along Content Library to find reflection questions that speak to you and will resonate with your students.

Here are two of our favorite picks to get the conversation going:

  • What helps you stay focused when you’re working? 
  • What do you do when you get “stuck” or don’t know how to move forward?  
  1. Winter break book club.

Ask your students to pick a popular book that they’ll be excited to read for an optional book club. They can finish the book during winter break and regroup in January to gush over their favorite characters and most memorable quotes. This will help students feel extra engaged in the days leading up to break and keep them connected to one another during their time off.

For bonus points, pick out the themes and main messages of the book and use them as a basis for connection in Along.

  1. Change it up.

If you notice a lot of fidgeting amongst your students, it might be time to shake up your lesson plan. A quick walk, yoga stretch or dance break can do the trick and release pent-up energy. Or, in the spirit of promoting meaningful connections, create opportunities for your students to foster friendships with one another. Let your students try the Along activity Conduct Spark Interviews with each other. This will allow them to share their quirks, talents, and other “sparks” that bring them joy. 

  1. Make time for yourself.

In the midst of the final crunch, don’t forget to spend a little time on you. Treat yourself to a large latte, a post-work massage, a weekend nap, or a long walk with a friend. These small acts can do wonders in managing stress levels and refueling focus. It’s been another challenging year and your hard work has been invaluable — give yourself room to reflect, relax, and recharge. 

We hope these tips help you and your class feel more energetic and focused during these final weeks. Whether you’re traveling with family or enjoying a stay-cation, we wish you a wonderful winter break and congratulations on finishing another semester!

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