Spring Fever Management Ideas for Upper Elementary

Spring Fever Management and Ideas for Upper Elementary

Every teacher knows that spring fever is a real thing! And it always seems to show its face as soon as the calendar flips to March, and gets stronger and stronger until the end of the school year! 

How can you cure spring fever in the upper elementary classroom? It's a simple equation to solve. Engage students with high interestest projects while also allowing them to have choice and independence. At this time of the year, kids are already excited for the next grade level. By giving them opportunities to shine with independent activities students are not only thankful but work harder to prove that they can do it...all on their own!

Wondering how to get started? I can help! Here are 5 tried and true ways to get spring fever under control and increase learning and critical thinking in your upper elementary classroom.

1. Head Outside to Learn

Grab these FREE reading, writing, and math spring activities to bring independent learning outside as the weather gets warmer.

With the arrival of spring comes the arrival of warm weather.

Nothing helps to beat spring fever than heading outside to learn. When the weather gets warmer, I invite students to bring in either a towel or a yoga mat from home so that they have something to sit on when we head outside for lessons. I also have a class set of clipboards, along with a bucket of pencils, that we bring outdoors. Not every task or activity can be completed outside, but many are perfect for outdoor learning. Remember to ask your building administrator if it is ok to head outside before you go! That way they know where you and the class are in case they need you.

Below are some ways to easily get in some outdoor time when spring rolls around.

  • Silent reading and reading review activities

  • Nature walks, seasonal observations, science activities

  • Peer editing and revising during writing time or writing tasks

  • Math practice/skill review and problem solving tasks

  • Use chalk for math practice and spelling practice

  • Anything that can be done on a clipboard with a pencil

2. Embrace the Season

If you have followed me for any time, you know that I truly believe that celebrating the seasons is a great way to engage students in authentic learning. So when spring rolls around, embrace the change of seasons and align it to the lessons you already have to teach for an easy way to increase student engagement. When you combine spring topics with longer projects, students become invested and look forward to working on the project each day or every week.


Here are some ways that I love to bring the seasons into lessons that we already have to complete:


Brainstorm with your students what topics they are currently interested in and build a project around their spring interests. This is a sure-fire way to increase student engagement in authentic learning.

3. Start a Project

national parks research project for upper elementary kids

Kids love projects! Projects are a great way to provide students with choice within a structure assignment. When kids have choice there is buy in and they take ownership in their learning. The spring is a great time to start a high interest project that lasts for days or weeks, depending on how much time you have to devote to it.

One project that I love to do with students during the spring season is a research project focused on National Parks. After we read about different parks found in our area, we branch out and read about other famous National Parks. The National Parks website is a wealth of knowledge that kids love exploring.

Once our reading and discussions are done, the students complete a research project on a National Park of their choice. They love to select a park that they have either been to and know a lot about, or that they want to visit. I especially love this project because it provides students with choice, independence, and ties together reading and writing in an authentic way.

Other research projects that are perfect for spring:

4. Kindness Challenge

spring kindness challenge for kids

With spring fever sometimes comes unwanted behavior in the classroom. 

It can sometimes be hard to manage students during the spring when they are excited about the change of season and all that lies ahead of them. During this time, there can be disagreement, arguments, and negative attitudes that sometimes surface when families are together for long periods of time. Since our class community becomes our families, it is no wonder this begins to happen.  

I love to give students an extra kindness challenge to combat this behavior. This challenge gives them a chance to show how kind they can be and helps strengthen our classroom community even during spring fever. Simply come up with a number of kind deeds that you think your students can do each day and challenge them to do it in authentic, meaningful ways. You can keep track with marbles in a jar, on the whiteboard with tally marks, or you can hold students accountable by having their own kindness form. This simple challenge truly works wonders in helping students fight spring fever and work together as a class.

Love this idea? Head to this blog post to read more ways that you can bring kindness into your classroom to fight spring fever or any time!

5. Kick-off Summer Reading

summer reading ideas for the classroom

It is never too early to start talking with students about summer reading, especially when you present it in a fun and surprising way!

I love to kick off summer reading two to three months before the school year ends, which is just about when spring fever is beginning. This summer reading kickoff is simple and a great way to get students excited about books they have not read before. All you have to do is create a schedule that includes one open 20-minute block a week. Then invite parents to come in during that 20-minute block to read the first two chapters of a children's chapter book of their choice.

Reading the first two chapters aloud makes the students hooked and always want to finish the book over the summer. It is a great way to tease a new book that they will want to finish over the summer. If you hold spring conferences, use that time to sign parents up to read during a 20-minute slot. I love using the last 20 minutes of Friday afternoon to have parents come in and read for this program. It helps us end the day and the week in a calm, reading-focused way!

Love this idea? Head to this blog post to read more to put this summer reading kickoff program into action in your classroom and fight spring fever!

6. Get Coloring!

spring coloring pages upper elementary

I love that the kids I work with love to color! We use a lot of color-by-code and Doodle Thinker activities throughout the year for brain breaks, morning work, and fast finishers! There are so many more ways to bring coloring activities into the classroom when they are connected to important skills like color by code and Doodle Thinkers! Add these activities to centers and stations, independent work folders, sub plans, or any way you want!

New to the world of Doodle Thinkers?
Your students will complete three ELA activities with intentional doodling images after coloring! Images were hand-selected to help students brainstorm ideas and build vocabulary...all to help them successfully do the word work activities and writing tasks included!

Get started with these coloring packs that kids love!

7. Whole Class Management System

Spring Fever in the Classroom Tips

Get spring fever under control in your upper elementary classroom with this tool that truly has students working together to earn a common goal!

I love creating a positive classroom community built on positive behavior and teamwork! While students are responsible for their behavior and choices as individuals, they make better choices when they work as a team towards a common goal or class reward.

I created and use this super simple color challenge behavior system as a quick, easy, and visual way to keep track of student behavior as a class. The kids love it, and I love how simple it is to use - just print and grab a crayon.

It is as easy as 1-2-3!

1. Set up expectations students work towards. (suggestions included)

2. Decide on a whole class reward. (suggestions included)

3. Print the coloring page and color!

Each time students display one of the expectations you decided, color in a piece. Once the whole coloring page has been colored in, the class earns the reward.

Remember, don't fight or ignore spring fever in your classroom this spring! Embrace it and make the most of the final few weeks you have with your students with these ideas and tips. With fun projects, a little reading, and a whole lot of kindness, you will definitely cure spring fever this school year!

You might be interested in reading:

Looking for meaningful spring activities that kids LOVE, like this color poem activity? Click HERE.

spring writing activity for upper elementary

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Spring ideas and activities for upper elementary students

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