While it might be tempting to turn on the TV and call it a day around holidays or testing time, there are lots of things you can do that are better than showing a movie in class.

Teachers struggle to cover everything they need to in a single school year, yet precious days are often wasted because teachers are unable to get students to focus on traditional lessons when their regular schedule is disrupted. Luckily, there are many educational options that are better than showing a movie in class so you don’t have to lose any instructional time just because students are a little scattered.

1. Set up a genius hour.

better than showing a movieA genius hour is time set apart for students to work on personal projects that motivate and interest them. Kickstart the time by asking a specific question (What’s an innovative way to fight hunger or limited access to clean water?) or leading a brainstorming session. Giving students the chance to use their brains and discover their passions will engage them. Helping students learn more about STEM, themselves, and the world around them is always better than showing a movie.