I am hosting this month’s Show Me Sunday for 3-6 Free Resources. I decided I wanted to read all about your educational time fillers because no matter how carefully we plan and prepare,
we all run into those empty pockets of time occasionally. Maybe the
bathroom break before specials went just a little bit faster than it
usually does or our science experiment went up in smoke (literally!). In
moments like that, a simple educational time filler can be your best
friend. I’m hoping this month’s linky party will
give you lots of new ideas. I promised to start by sharing my favorites.
Magic Number: I step up the traditional “guess my number” game my throwing in a little math. I think of a secret number and then go around the room letting students guess. They have to listen carefully to the other guesses because I don’t say the numbers out loud. My only response is “higher” or “lower” until the correct answer is found. For younger students, I keep it simple with even/odd and a number range (like between 50 and 100). For older students, I toss in math facts. For example, the sum of the digits in my secret number is 7. What is my number? It could be 34, 43, 61, etc. For some reason, the sum questions still get my third graders.
Sparkle: I kept hearing about Sparkle from my students early in my teaching career, but I had never played and they could never quite explain the rules. Finally, a group of students a few years ago taught me how to play. You use your spelling words, content words, or even high-frequency words. I say a word and then students take turns spelling the letters. If someone misses a letter, they’re out and the word starts over. If the word is spelled correctly, the next student says “Sparkle” and the person AFTER them is out. Play continues until one student is left. We play standing up and students sit down with they’re out. I also require my students to spell quickly to keep the game moving and increase their fluency. This one is also good for transitions as we’re leaving the room. Students who miss a letter go on and skip out to the bathroom, line up for specials, etc.
Genre Twist: I created this one when my students were having trouble remembering the different genres. I pick a genre and start telling a story. After a few sentences, I pass the story to my neighbor and she has to pick up where I left off. I say “Switch” every few sentences and assign a new genre. The next student has to continue the SAME story, but pick it up in a different genre. Our stories are always really fun as princesses, aliens, and talking animals end up riding in covered wagons. =)
Click on over to link up with us. I’m excited to add a few new tools to my teaching bag of tricks! =)