When our Students say they are “Bored” ….

Miss….. Sir… I”m done my work… what should I do now?

The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity. –   Ellen Parr

When our children are feeling bored at school, we start by working with them on how THEY, themselves, can ENRICH and add DEPTH, BEAUTY, and DETAIL to the work they are doing in class. We try to put the responsibility on them.  We remind them that, even if it seems “done”  they can tap into their imagination and find ways to add more depth, more creativity, and different possibilities. This does not mean that us Teachers and Parents do not ALSO have a responsibility to offer enrichment and help them find ways to be creative. But it is helping the STUDENT become better able to self-regulate, to advocate for themselves and to deal with that feeling of “not knowing what to do” – a skill they will always need. Always. 

Example:

In Math: Can they write a story that is based on the math work they were doing?  Can they create another question (more difficult or complicated) but ends up with the same answer?

Have the students create a TEST for the other students that is based on the work in class. Can they find different patterns in the question?

In Writing:  Can they add more detail or try to use cursive? Can they write a different ending?  Can they create another piece that is a continuation? Can they be challenged to go through every word and add a different word? How can their writing be put into an oral medium (podcast)?

In Reading: Can they create a character sketch or comic based on the book? Can they create a script? Can they find a similar book? Can they add another medium such as art or music?

A FEW SUGGESTIONS…. 

Have student and parent agree to a Learning Contract

Learning Contract link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1mA86t0wdFK3iQZP_3ovIOsbkYDFe7r_swdkrrzPYCH4/edit

Have student make a list of things to do when they are bored (challenge them to make a list of things that are both “disruptive and not disruptive’ to help them better understand their own needs as well as how they can advocate for themselves constructively (when is a good time to talk to the teacher? When can they ask parent?)
Student “News” board. The news is never ending – the student could take charge of creating a news board that shows the THIS/THAT of news. Suggestion: Students could show a “bad news” item and then search for a “good news” item – the “This → That to demonstrate that often ADVERSITY can lead to positivity
Students could have an ongoing project to work on (a knitting project, something they are designing or building, a book to read, math puzzles). This might mean that the teacher or parent has a bin of supplies and activities set aside.
Can students research what it means to be BORED and create a slideshow or powerpoint  This might help them understand that “Feeling” and how they can resolve it on their own?
One of the best strategies is using a BULLET JOURNAL. We suggest that students “add” a page of what they are doing (in math, in science, in language) and use their Journal to create further questions, themes, quotes, topics

A few Additional Resources that might help….

Suggestions (in the classroom or small groups)

SKILL / NEED

DESCRIPTION

LINK

ORGANIZATION

Organize LOCKER, Binder and Books

*have students empty locker, empty desks. Bring everything into an area away from others and help them sort. Have labels ready, page dividers and a trash bin!

https://www.nagc.org/resources-publications/resources/motivation-and-learning/organization-skills

MINDFULNESS

Dyads/Listening Exercises

From: https://oneminddharma.com/mindfulness-exercises/

 This can help them understand the practice with a relatively simple question. You then can dive into any topic you want. A few examples of questions we use are:

-What is something that brings you joy?

-What does happiness feel like?

-What brings you anxiety?

-What are your hopes?

-What’s a quality you like about yourself?

http://leftbrainbuddha.com/

https://oneminddharma.com/mindfulness-exercises/

Brain Break

Read a Story together

Squiggly Story,

https://www.edutopia.org/blog/brain-breaks-focused-attention-practices-lori-desautels

http://minds-in-bloom.com/20-three-minute-brain-breaks/

Journaling

Allow / Encourage  students to work on a bullet journal page

List of Bullet Journal Ideashttps://kalynbrooke.com/life-and-style/time-management/bullet-journal-collection-ideas/

Olgy

Allow students to explore a specific topic of interest and chose a specific related activity.

https://www.amnh.org/explore/ology

https://www.howtosmile.org/

Digital Break Out Room

In Breakout EDU games, players work collaboratively to solve a series of critical thinking puzzles in order to open a locked box. Each Breakout EDU starter kit can be used to play hundreds of games. Sign up for your Breakout EDU account here.

https://www.breakoutedu.com/welcome/

“To Do”

Maker Bins

Bins can be set aside for sewing, art, poetry, origami, crafts, puzzles.

Take A course of interest

Online Courses! Why not

Free online courses: https://www.edx.org/professional-certificate/microsoft-introduction-to-computer-science

Create Music

Chrome Music Lab is a collection of experiments that let anyone, at any age, explore how music works. They’re collaborations between musicians and coders, all built with the freely available Web Audio API. These experiments are just a start. Check out each experiment to find open-source code you can use to build your own.

https://musiclab.chromeexperiments.com/Experiments

Experimentation and Play

AI Experiments is a showcase for simple experiments that make it easier for anyone to start exploring machine learning, through pictures, drawings, language, music, and more.

https://experiments.withgoogle.com/ai

https://experiments.withgoogle.com/

Word Work

Etymology & Greek and Latin Roots

From Birdeed: “My class studied Greek and Latin word origins by developing names for spells, new Pokemon, and strange inventions. Each creation had to be constructed with at least two Greek or Latin roots, prefixes, or suffixes.  Some examples included: Acubible – a sharp bookAquacrat – a person who lives  in water

Here are 111 Greek and Latin word parts to use in class

http://www.idiomsite.com/

list of English idioms.

From: http://www.byrdseed.com/vocabulary-skills-for-gifted-students/

Cognates

http://www.byrdseed.com/vocabulary-skills-for-gifted-students/ “Comparing vocabulary, grammar, and even writing systems can give students a new point of view about langauge arts”. Cognates are an interesting way to find parallels across languages. Some examples (taken from Wikipedia):

Night (English), nuit (French), nacht (German), natt (Swedish)

shalom (Hebrew), salaam (Arabic), and selam (Amharic)

http://www.byrdseed.com/vocabulary-skills-for-gifted-students/

Antagonyms

Antagonyms are words that have the two opposing meanings. Definitely look at the link, but “bound” is an example since it means moving (“My train was bound for Portland”) and immobile (“I was bound and gagged.”).

http://www-personal.umich.edu/~cellis/antagonym.html

Weekly Circles

(from a teacher)

Activity:

Every Friday, I had a Weekly Tea Party (Circle). We used this time to wrap up the week, discuss major learnings, major setbacks and what is in store for next week. We also used this time to say “sorry” or “thank you” so that students could start the following week feeling fresh.

BLOG IT!

Research what it means to be ‘Gifted’ focusing on benefits and struggles

Activity:

Have students submit a writing reflection on one article.

To Do Lists – Clipboards

Activity:

Students each had a clipboard (hung on wall in classroom) where they would keep and regularly update their “to-do” lists, learning goals and sometimes important information.  This helped me (homeroom teacher) know how much they were getting from other teachers as well. It also helps students take responsibility for what they had to do in the short and long term.

http://pipedreams-education.ca/2013/04/14/are-students-accountable-for-their-i-e-ps/

Origami

Have a “Bin” Set up. Students can practise their spacial reasoning and math skills by finding different patterns to fold/create.

http://www.oriland.com/index.php

Puzzles

(Brain Break)

Have an on-going puzzle in the room

Research on using Puzzles: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1C_klVIDCCM704e9YmvZhYIP9rBku0oyLIig6gYOegBA/edit

Online Logic Puzzle

(Brain Break)

Choose an online Logic Puzzle

http://www.conceptispuzzles.com/

Online Chess Game

(Brain Break)

Have students spend some time out by playing online Chess.

https://www.chess.com/play/computer

Why Chess (Research) https://docs.google.com/document/d/1C_klVIDCCM704e9YmvZhYIP9rBku0oyLIig6gYOegBA/edit (CC ZPipe)

Math Challenges

Have students write down a few challenges to present to their classmates.

https://benvitalenum3ers.wordpress.com/2013/05/26/brain-teasers-22-mensa-puzzles/

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