In my classroom, I place particular emphasis on two specific sets of habits: Habits of Mind, that help children become better thinkers, and Habits of Character, that help children become better learners and better people. I also emphasize other important concepts, such as health & wellness, quality, and success. During the last week or two of the school year, I purposely schedule activities and projects that touch on these emphases so that I can once again highlight their importance and discuss with my students the information and skills I hope they have gained this year.
For example, letâ€™s focus on the concept of Health & Wellness. During the first week of school, I have my students complete the â€œHuman Health Huntâ€ activity featured in Teaching Tip #4. This icebreaking activity introduces many important health concepts while also facilitating positive interactions among students. A month or so later, we begin our â€œHealth Championsâ€ science unit, in which students learn what I call the six pillars of health: nutrition, hydration, exercise, sleep, safety, and stress. When the unit ends, I continue addressing these pillars and emphasize that this content is not simply important for school, itâ€™s important for life.
During the last week of the school year, I like to have my students participate in the â€œHuman Health Huntâ€ a second time, and I use this occasion as an opportunity to re-emphasize many of the crucial health concepts weâ€™ve already learned.
Take a few minutes to think about your highest priorities and determine how you can meaningfully revisit them at the end of the year to achieve a sense of closure.
New Teaching Tips appear every Sunday of the school year.