For me, this is always the time it feels like a complete marathon.  The musical, volunteer day, 5th grade band instrument tryouts, 8th grade graduation, K graduation, and this year, I’m going on the 8th grade class trip! And this is just the school stuff!  Keeping the kids motivated at the end of the school year can be a real challenge! I thought I would share 5 ideas to keep them on their toes!

1. The CRAZY FUN Game

I always try to save one game for the very end of the school year that results in some craziness from the kids.  But when I introduce it, I give the “I think you can handle it now that you are ALMOST ….  graders now.”  The kids take it a little more seriously, and we don’t have behavior issues while we play. Win win! Some of my favorites: Our Old Sow, Cut the Cake, or ANY game that has a chasing element! With the grades working on learning notes on the staff, I’ve taken them outside and drawn a HUGE staff on the pavement with chalk and done “Treble Races”.  My favorite is having groups have to run to spell out a word. That’s always a big hit!

2. The Creative Project

This is a great time of year to get your kids composing.  Whether you want to do something where you give them parameters, or you find something fun for them to try online, this is always a fun project.  They can get VERY into it.  I once had my kids write a poem with Halloween words, and told them they had to use a different color boomwhacker for each word every time they used it.  The melodies they wrote were so cool! They loved the project, and were creative with something they will remember! Set limits: Only certain boomwhackers, use certain rhythms elements, make the words fit a theme, and however many measures you want. They’ll love it!  Try or let them spend time on.  Speaking of creative project…

CreateYourOwnFolkDance - Perfect to keep kids motivated3. Folk Dance

I know this is one of the things that is my answer for everything, but it is! After my students have been working super hard to learn the musical, I like to get them up and move before I send them back to class.  Folk dances are my favorite way to get the kids moving!  It’s also great becauseyou can take it outside.  When the warm weather calls, embrace it!  Get creative and let your kids create their own folk dance! There is a free lesson plan on TpT that you can download to walk you through it.


4. Something WAY different

If you haven’t played a stick game (Sarasponda or or Epo I Tai Tai E are my favorites) teach one! Play a passing game you’ve never done, or try a Maypole! If it’s new and fun to you, it will be to the kids too! If you’ve never done a jazz composer, do one of those!

5. Have a “Camp Out”

Our own Lauren from Rhythm and Glues is doing a camp out with her students this week.  They are going to sit around a “campfire” and sing camp songs.  She even made a trail in her classroom! This is such a brilliant idea! What a fun way to introduce some folk songs that aren’t in your normal repertoire to kids, and how memorable for them! Set up a tent, and treat your kids to some fun summer camp songs!

Have fun!


Mrs. Stouffer’s Music Room

Melissa with Mrs. Stouffer's Music Room

Melissa Stouffer earned a bachelor of science in psychology and a bachelor of music education from Central Michigan University. I teach preschool-8th grade general music, choir and band. Mrs. Stouffer is Kodály Level Two certified and serves as the president of the Michigan Kodály Educators (MIKE). She is also the MMC Planning Committee representative for MMEA. In 2009 married my college sweetheart, Sam, whom I met in band at CMU. We live in Metro Detroit with our dog, Cindy Lou Who.