May 12, 2021

Survive to Thrive During the Last Month of School

Julie Jensen

Learning and Innovation Manager

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My plan became the cure for our fevers and gave me the confidence to create collaborative learning experiences using technology with my students. I challenged myself to pull out one new idea each day in that final month that involved students’ hands-on technology.

There are natural points in the school year when teachers reflect and determine What’s next? The blog posted February 10, 2021, provided a reflection after winter break as we began the second half of the school year, Survive to Thrive During the Pandemic: What Happens Next? The month of May is another good time to reflect, especially if you have the fever. 

By fever, I mean cabin fever, spring fever, so-ready-for-summer fever. If you have this fever, I might have a cure! As a former sixth-grade teacher for nine years, I could tell when the spring months hit without looking at a calendar. Focusing on new content was not in my students’ biological makeup at that age and time of year. As hard as I pulled them along, inevitably I caught the fever from my students. To counteract this seasonal fever, consider developing a new plan for that critical last month of school. 

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My plan became the cure for our fevers and gave me the confidence to create collaborative learning experiences using technology with my students. I challenged myself to pull out one new idea each day in that final month that involved students’ hands-on technology. I also gave myself permission to not be the expert on this technology. By letting students support and teach each other on the tech tools, I could become the coach on objectives secretly interwoven into the learning experiences. 

We started with stand-alone technology creations such as digital stories, comics, posters, drawings, polls and spreadsheets, concept mapping and more. With my new experiences, I began incorporating these tech creations into more learning opportunities for my students at the start of that next school year. By the end of that year, we completed several engaging and meaningful projects including the following examples: 

  • Created I Spy Simple Machine digital books combining science with writing.
  • Developed and presented business plans for a new mall with students conducting a poll and using the data to make decisions while also learning economic concepts.
  • Documented the life cycles of various animals using digital cameras to create a visual diagram. 

My point being, don’t lose your momentum for providing your students with experiences to strengthen their digital skills for our post-Covid world. Plan now to use the tools you may have been forced to learn, but have grown to love. If your students have Chromebooks, start collecting ideas using the tools they have with them. Then modify these ideas to match your students and tech tools. 

Below are some other blogs and video tutorials from 2020-21 to encourage this momentum. 



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