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How to Keep Students Motivated in Lessons After Exam Season

How to Keep Students Motivated in Lessons After Exam Season

Every year, students and teachers rally to put in the most effort to get through exam season. Revision sessions, mock exams and after school classes. Exam season can really take it out of any student as they strive to get the best grades possible.

Teachers too pull out all the stops to achieve exam success, starting as early as Easter. There is just so much focus on exams, on preparing and guiding students for every test, supporting students through the lengthy revision process.

But once the last paper is handed back to the invigilator, it can be hard to figure out how to spend the last few months of school. What happens when exams are done? With most exams finishing in early to mid June, that leaves at least a month and a half before summer break.

With students understandably exhausted after exam season, keeping them motivated in lessons can be a real challenge. In this article, we’ll be exploring how to make the best use of those summer months before students’ heads empty over summer again, sharing top activity ideas for a variety of subjects!

  1. Use Different Materials
  2. Let Students Choose
  3. Get Creative
  4. Take Lessons Outside
  5. Explore Languages

Use Different Materials

The first place you can start making a change in the classroom is by switching up the materials you’re using to teach. As teachers, you have quite the variety these days when it comes to learning resources. Interactive whiteboards a staple in almost every classroom in the UK. While this is great, there’s just so much more you can do, particularly without the pressure that comes with assessments.

Once the gruelling exams are done, it's a great time to experiment and you might even boost student morale.

The World-Wide Web

The internet is a fantastic resource, with lots of audio and visual materials for all kinds of students and to cover a wide range of subjects. Simple steps such as incorporating music, engaging Youtube videos, and even podcasts. For example, why not play a trending Spanish song in Spanish class. You can even watch a short video explaining Tudor history in simple terms. There are really no rules when it comes to what you can do. Have fun with it! Multimedia tools can be effectively used to introduce new concepts and liven up learning. This can get students to have more fun at school, using the flexibility of post-exams season to take a break from textbooks. Once the gruelling exams are done, it’s a great time to experiment and you might even boost student morale.

Virtual Learning

There are also loads of virtual learning tools that can help lessons be more collaborative. These include Padlet, Flipgrid and Quizlet. These platforms allow students to share online posts, exchanging thoughts on what they’ve covered in class. By encouraging organic discussion, you can keep students engaged and motivated in lessons. These platforms provide opportunities for a wide range of online and interactive collaboration, from polls to pop quizzes to Q&As to gathering student feedback. Don’t be put off – these websites are easy to use for students and teachers and can be lots of fun! Taking this kind of approach can also make classroom learning more immersive. This can really boost student motivation! For more on using technology in the classroom, check out this article from our Learn&Co team on enhancing language lessons!

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Keep Students Motivated After Exam Season

Let students choose

With exams over, it's time to let students take charge in their learning! Giving students the freedom to explore subjects in their own way can make a massive difference both inside and outside the classroom. The good news is that theres many ways to make this happen without much effort. You can set independent tasks and projects for almost any subject – maybe a history presentation on the Cold War, or a science project on photosynthesis? You can present a list of topics and let students choose whatever sparks their interest. This can make students feel empowered in their learning and can lead to better results and higher motivation. It can also encourage students to go further with their learning – inspiring deeper enthusiasm in new and fascinating ideas.

give students the freedom to explore subjects and learn new things in the way they prefer

Make Learning Exciting

Encourage students to have more fun with their learning, by presenting their findings to the class or sharing their thoughts. Other ideas include: building scientific models, arts and crafts projects, role plays based on novels. You can encourage students to work in groups, in pairs or independently. The important thing is to give students the freedom to explore subjects and learn new things in the way they prefer. While keeping on topic, you may find it boosts student participation and engagement in lessons – and could be a whole lot of fun for everyone too!

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Keep Students Motivated After Exam Season

Get creative

Another way to keep students motivated in lessons is by getting creative in lessons. By getting students to tap into their creative interests, you can try a range of different activities that help consolidate learning. This can be anything from music to art to tech to design to drama

There are no rules with activities – why not get students to explain a play in song, or design a solution to a modern scientific problem or draw an art piece depicting a major historical event. When it comes to creative tasks, the possibilities are endless. The flexibility of this allows for teachers to get creative in virtually any subject. These creative outlets can also be used to learn new concepts, and even prepare for the year ahead – by introducing new topics from the curriculum. What's more, you can try educational games and activities to keep lessons compelling, from classic games to more modern takes. 

Finally, there's activities that draw on topical issues

Students talking about news and current events can help them see real life implications of ideas they've learned. Competitions are also a great way to keep students motivated in lessons, as well as debates. Exams are over, school's nearly out – so why not try something new this summer?
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Keep Students Motivated After Exam Season

Take lessons outside

With the end of exams coinciding with the arrival of summer, why not make the most of the sun and take lessons outside? One way to refresh lessons is to get students in a new and different environment. Arranging class trips doesn't have to be so difficult – and with so many museums and galleries being free to visit, it's definitely worth a try. Going to fascinating exhibitions can really help consolidate learning, whatever the subject. Students can get the chance to see in person what they may have been learning about in school.

Outings/trips

Day trips outside can really develop understanding of history, art, literature and science in particular. In London, you're spoilt for choice – the Science Museum is always bursting with interesting scientific exhibits and the latest in research and design. There's also the British Library, Charles Dickens House and Keats House, where students can get stuck into engrossing literary works and peruse library records themselves. The British Museum and the National Gallery are also fantastic places to let students discover art and history in their own way. Across the country, Tate Liverpool, the National Railway Museum in York, the Riverside Museum in Glasgow provide plenty of options to dive into art, war history, and literature among other niche topics. Whats more, visiting natural landmarks, such as the Lake District, or one of the many nature reserves across the UK can make geography and science lessons that much more enjoyable.

educational trips can improve critical thinking and expand students' worldview

There are several reported benefits of being outside on students' motivation, mental health and attainment. Not only that, educational trips can improve critical thinking and expand studentsworldview. Studies have also reported the positive effects on academic achievement so who knows how a single day trip can impact pupils in the years to come?
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Keep Students Motivated After Exam Season

Explore languages

Languages are a great way to keep lessons fun and fresh. With most students already having some background knowledge in a foreign language, it's worth building on this for the post-exams season. You can get students to write a short piece in a different language, hold a speech or essay competition, or even do presentations. Think explaining Of Mice and Men in Spanish or debating climate change in French. It may sound challenging but by allowing students to choose and considering individual language levels, it might just be a classroom success! Its also a great way to practise those active language skills that many students tend to struggle with. 

The summer months following exams is a great time to try something new with current languages so why not start now? Read on for more tips on how to make language lessons more entertaining.

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Keep Students Motivated After Exam Season

Conclusion

I hope youre feeling a lot more confident about that final summer term ahead – and use some of our ideas in your lessons soon! With the most difficult phase of the academic year over, its worth letting loose and experimenting in school! For the best tips and tricks in language learning, check out our Learn&#38Co website or have a read of our own exam prep guide!
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