Imagine it: It is the first week back from a long and relaxing winter break. Although you are excited to get back in front of the classroom, the winter blues is quite possibly your worst enemy. Since winter is in full swing, your students may have trouble re-focusing their attention and energy into the classroom. You greet your students by asking what they did over break, then you begin teaching, but notice that your students are low in energy.

To save yourself from a bad day where your students are not engaged, read on for a couple of ways to reel your students back into school mode. Below, are a few activity ideas, tips, and pointers to turn a bad day into a fab day!

So, what are some good ways to get your students out of the winter blues? The most important part about teaching during the cold winter days is to incorporate some physical activity into or in between lessons. One particular activity, called “Agriculture is Everywhere” is a great way to get your students motivated! Here are the simple steps:

  1. Collect old magazines and newspapers and store them in your classroom.
  2. Tape a poster on the classroom board.
  3. Divide your students into groups of 3 or 4.
  4. Allow students to explore magazines/newspapers to find people/items related to agriculture.
  5. Have students tape their findings to the poster (goal is 100 total).
  6. Assign a student to tally mark for each item on the poster.
  7. Discuss how the items specifically relate to agriculture.
  8. Hang the finished product outside the hallway, allowing students and teachers to recognize that agriculture is everywhere!

The “Agriculture is Everywhere” activity is simply one of the hundreds of ways to get students energized for class. Some other ways to get students out of the winter blues is by allowing students to get up and do hands on work that reminds them of the exciting parts about winter. With the school supplies in your classroom, ask students to create snowflakes by folding a white piece of computer paper in different ways and cutting! This is one of the simplest and messy-free crafts that your students will love!

If your students are older, have the class sit in a circle and ask them to discuss their favorite aspects of winter. You will be surprised how much your students will have to say. For a quicker activity, ask students in groups to list a number of items as fast as they can. The topics can be something like listing farm animals, the 50 states, or all of the fun aspects about winter!

Although winter restricts students from having recess outside, playing inside can be just as exciting! So next time you notice your students are not motivated, take a small break from your lesson plan by doing group activities, class discussions, or crafts. Now that your students are pumped up, you can get back to your lesson.

SamarSamar Dabneh
Illinois State University






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