Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Overcoming the Winter Doldrums


Winter is in full swing, and the energy level in the classroom seems to have dropped. Rather than being generally engaged, there is a tendency toward disinterest, low motivation, or sometimes general boredom. Welcome to the mid-school-year slump! (And I'm not just talking about the students!)


Also known as the mid-semester doldrums, this common occurrence can be remedied in a variety of way. Revitalizing a class during the winter/ mid-semester doldrums can be as easy as interjecting an unexpected approach: inviting a guest speaker [or colleague], using an awesome new resource, giving an unexpected assignment – just doing something that disrupts the routine!


Now more than ever, use active learning strategies. Get your students reading, talking, writing, describing, interacting, listening, and reflecting on the materials presented. Active learning (izzit.org’s S.M.A.R.T. Steps) allows educators to infuse our materials, thus promoting problem-solving, critical thinking, analysis and evaluation, and breaking up the winter/mid-semester doldrums!


Remember, we have different levels of learners. Remember that the “A” student needs as much motivation as the non- A
student and one size does not fit all. But changing up the routine, allowing students time and educators listening to their findings, really breaks up the winter for both!