Classroom Activities: Teacher-Tested Time Fillers

7 Teacher Time Savers to Help You Make the Most of Every Minute

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It's important to make every minute count in regards to the classroom. We have all been there, your lesson has finished early, or their is only five minutes until dismissal and your left without a thing for your students to do! These quick classroom activities or should I say, teacher-tested time fillers are perfect for keeping your students engaged during those awkward transition periods.

1. The Daily News

This current events time filler encourages students to share their opinions about what is happening locally as well as around the globe. When you have a few minutes to spare, read a headline aloud to the class and invite students to share what they think the story is about. If you have a few more minutes to spare, then read the story aloud and take turns discussing student opinions on the topic.

2. Give Me a Sign

Have you ever wished you learned another language? Or better yet sign language? Well you can, along with your students. Whenever you have a few moments to spare, teach students ( and yourself) a few signs. Not only will you learn sign language by the end of the school year, but you wil also get a few "quiet" moments in class!

3. Follow the Leader

This classic mirroring game is the perfect activity to choose when you have a few minutes to spare at the end of the school day. Instruct students to mimic everything you are doing.

Once students get good at this game, allow students to take turns taking over being the leader.

4. Mystery Number Line

This quick math time filler is a great way to teach or reinforce numeration. Think of a number and write it down on a piece of paper. Then, tell students that you are thinking of a number between ____and _____.

Draw a number line on the board and write down each students' number they say on the board. When the mystery number is guessed, write it down in red on the board and confirm they are correct by showing students the number on the piece of paper.

5. Things Found on a....

On the front board write any of the following titles:

  • Things found on a farm
  • Things found on a boat
  • Things found on a zoo
  • Things found on an airplane

Invite students to make a list of all of things found on the topic you requested them to answer. Give them a predetermined number to reach, and when they reach that number reward them with a small treat.

6. Give me Five

If you have five minutes to spare this game is fitting. To play the game, challenge students to name five alike things. For example, say "Give me five flavors of ice cream." Randomly call on a student, and this student must stand up and give you five. If they are correct, they win, if they are not, they sit down and another student is called upon.

7. The Price is Right

This fun time filler will be sure to grab your students attention and keep it! Get a copy of your local classified section and choose one item that you want students to guess the price on. Then, make a T chart on the board and have students take turns guessing the price.

Prices that are too high goes on one side of the chart, and prices that are too low goes on the other side of the chart. This is a fun game that reinforces math skills as well as teaches students the actual value of items.

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