Flu season may be coming to an end, but we’re now entering a new season: The season of senioritis. And the symptoms are all too obvious to those who have seen senioritis strike before. Carelessness and lethargy along with decreased motivation, punctuality and willingness to learn. Fortunately, there’s hope! These eight TpT’ers have shared what works in their classrooms to keep their seniors motivated right up until the final days of school. Hello spring but goodbye senioritis!

Get Outside

Mabel Math“We live in northern Wisconsin. The snow is quickly melting and the sun shining almost daily now! My seniors like to move their desks to sit in the sun that comes in through my window, and they often ask if we can go outside. We went outside a lot at the beginning of the school year, and it was great. They get very creative in finding ways to get their work done outside (using textbooks as writing surfaces, finding a bench in front of our school to sit on). It’s my goal to get my senior classes outside once or twice a week for the rest of the year for at least part of the class period. The fresh air and the change of scenery do them well!” – Mabel Math

Room 213“We’re a long way from spring here in my part of the world (Prince Edward Island in Canada), but the longer evenings are giving us hope that it’s coming soon! I definitely plan my semester with senioritis in mind and leave some of the projects and assignments that require less focus until the end. However, the art of teaching requires that we build and scaffold, and so they also have to do some major assessments at the end. What works for me (most times) is finding a balance of fun, collaborative activities and ones that require focus. Getting them up and moving, both indoors and out, is always a good idea, too. One of my favorite springtime activities is a poetry scavenger hunt, where we go to a local park to find inspiration for writing a poem.” – Room 213

Create a Student-Centered Classroom

Chalk Dust Diva“I teach 12th grade civics, and senioritis is beginning to set in. I keep reminding them of their future goals and how great it’s going to feel to step on the stage to receive their diploma. I try to create more of a student-centered classroom rather than offer direct instruction. For example, I have my students play a board game on how a bill becomes a law, or participate in a simulation for the electoral college. My students have been extra engaged because we’ve been watching some of the current presidential debates. On the last day of school I read aloud to my seniors Oh, the Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss. They love it!” – Chalk Dust Diva — History – Social Science

Madame H“Luckily, I have the AP French Language and Culture exam to help hold them accountable until early May. I explain every year that we’ll ‘play’ after we take the test. I also have a meme with characters from Toy Story — in which Woody and Buzz have nervous looks on their faces — laminated and posted front and center in the classroom. The wording in French states ‘Darn! May 10th is coming quickly!'” – Madame H

Pull Out Projects, Poetry, and Engaging Activities

Julie Faulkner“I’m starting to see signs of senioritis pop up with my dual-enrollment English seniors in the form of checking in late, checking out early, and not turning work in on time. There’s also a tad more complaining if I assign a large assignment or give homework. I figured out a solution a long time ago that seems to work pretty well: Poignant poetry and projects. I choose poems with themes that appeal to seniors who are saying goodbye to friends and looking ahead to the future. We can do the poetry and short projects in small doses, which seems to be a fitting treatment for the symptoms of senioritis! Here’s the pack of poem and lessons that I’ve used with my seniors: Surviving Senioritis And Other Year-End Jitters w/Poetry. I also like to do short, themed units like this one I call Beach Week. It takes their mind off the actual work we’re doing since they get to think about the beach, and I even decorate my room!” – Julie Faulkner

B's Book Love“One word: projects. I’m finishing up the podcast Serial with my seniors, and instead of an essay I gave them a group project in which they had to create a crime board with evidence, then plan a closing statement in favor of Adnan or Jay (characters in the podcast). Having the freedom to create and plan on their own has kept the senioritis at bay!” – B’s Book Love

High School Math Fun“I try to keep my students engaged as much as possible, but I don’t bend the rules for them. It’s really easy to let down your guard and let the kids just slack — and give hundreds of opportunities to redo work. (First-year teacher mistake, never again!). I try to give what become ‘easy grades,’ like making a poster of the most recent material with each poster counting as a project grade. Typically, if the assignment seems like an easy task to boost grades, they’ll do it. I sneak it in as a review for an upcoming test.” – High School Math Fun

Spanish Sundries“Being a high school Spanish teacher, I have sophomores, juniors, and seniors in the same class. Even having students in proximity to seniors in the last months of school can be dangerous, as senioritis is HIGHLY contagious. My trick is to pull out my most engaging activities. My students all love playing our giant Spanish board game, so this year I’ll be using this to review for exams with all my classes to keep them moving and take advantage of their competitive nature. Check out the board game here: Giant Board Game—Basic Spanish Questions. And take a look at some pictures of the game in action at my blog: Throw Away Your Textbook! Ideas For a Fun& Focused Spanish Classroom.”- Spanish Sundries

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