Down here in Texas, we have crested the hill as it pertains to standardized testing. Yes, there are still some kids who need to RE-take the TAKS, if they are at a grade level that requires passing. And the lower grades are taking ITBS this week. But if not now, then very soon, all teachers will be wondering the same thing -- what do I do for the rest of the year?
Allow me to make a few suggestions. Here are ten ideas for things to do for the next few weeks to keep you and your kids occupied from the morning bell till the afternoon buses leave.
10) Teach your kids Advanced Quantum Mechanics. If the kids' jaws hang open in disbelief, comment that they will comprehend THIS lesson equally as well as they have comprehended everything else this year. (Note: this requires a level of sarcasm that may elude some teachers.)
9) Ask the kids to measure the perimeter of the school -- in millimeters.
8) Have a Bill Nye the Science Guy video marathon. After that, have a Magic School Bus marathon. Then show every episode of Reading Rainbow you can get your hands on. Time allowing, screen old episodes of 3-2-1 Contact. Bonus points if your kids learn the theme song to the Bloodhound Gang before the end of the year.
7) Commit fully to physical education -- OK kids, let's see how many times we can walk around the school in 2 and a half hours! Ready? Go!
6) Give each child one volume of the encyclopedia and a spiral notebook. Ask him/her to transfer everything to the spiral notebook, including pictures. Take off points for spelling.
5) Give kids a clipboard with a new survey every morning. Their job is to survey the entire faculty and student population. Once the complaints start (from other faculty members), task the kids with creating visual presentations of the acquired data.
4) Napping contests. Whoever sleeps the longest and most silently wins a prize each day.
3) Science experiment -- How many pieces of blank white paper can you completely darken using a single crayon? Do different colors give different results?
2) If you teach a bilingual class, spend the next few weeks having THEM teach YOU their native language. Appear to grasp the vocabulary or pronunciation perfectly one day, but then forget it completely the next. EX: on Tuesday, say the Spanish word for red as "rojo." On Wednesday, insist that the Spanish word for red is "eplok."
1) Make a flier that says, "Last day of school -- May 14." Send home.