Whether it’s the end of the year or just another Tuesday, all teachers have days when they need a little time to record grades from the last lesson, gather materials, or talk privately to a student.
Here are are some quick, engaging activities!
First, set the stage. Alleviate students’ fears about “getting things right” by explaining the requirements- participate, work cooperatively, and complete the task without teacher support or intervention.
Even though the work is not graded, collecting papers at the end of an activity encourages appropriate behavior and participation.
The “reward” for students is interactive time with peers, a break from structured right/wrong responses, and/or a chance to share with the group at the end of the activity.
The only requirements– participate, work cooperatively, and complete the task without teacher support or intervention.
1. Free Write: Put three words on the board and have students write a story starter that logically includes all the words, or any form of the words. Remind students not to worry about spelling or handwriting during this creative time. Before starting the next lesson, allow one or two volunteers to read their story starters. Collect all papers and keep for possible later use.
► Sample word combinations:
2. Brain Energizer: Students silently walk X number of laps around the perimeter of the room. Have children enter the line by row and start walking in the same direction. Define the “rules of the road.” EX: No speeding, no passing. The line leader keeps track of the laps as they pass a certain “landmark.” As they go past the landmark the final time, students file back into their rows and follow the written directions on the board.
► When the students get good at this:
* add marching,
* have students walk in the other direction, or
* have a leader introduce a different arm motion at the beginning of each lap.
3. Cooperative Puzzles: Quickly assign pairs or small groups. Give students X minutes to identify as many ways as possible to solve a problem. Ask one or two students to share the solutions they came up with at the end. Collect all papers.
► Sample puzzles:
* list of ten items for a camping trip
* three ways to raise $50 for a charity
* create a new classroom seating chart
* plan a menu for a week of healthy school lunches
* use only hands to form all the vowels
* make up at least 12 math problems that have 7 as the answer
* create a rhyme that could help teach the importance of one of the classroom rules
4. Eye Spy: Set the timer. Students will have X number of minutes to silently list all the things they can see that begin with a specific letter of the alphabet. They must remain seated. Spelling and handwriting don’t count. After a few rounds you can quickly glance at lists and praise a few students who showed effort.
► If you have more time, students can read items from their lists aloud. Students cross off each item they hear someone else say. Have the winning student collect all papers.
5. The Classic: Students read silently. They may choose a book from their desks to read for pleasure, or the teacher can assign a specific reading selection.
► Try this variation! Give students a task such as:
* locating six examples of figurative language,
* identifying 12 words with the long a sound,
* finding 12, three-syllable nouns, or whatever.
Require students to write out their answers and provide the appropriate page numbers.
6. Art Activity: Turn on some classical music and let students express themselves drawing based on a suggested theme.
► Sample ideas:
* create a machine with 10+ parts that turns on a light switch,
* draw a desert (or other) animal in its natural habitat, or
* make an advertisement to sell your favorite book.
Need even more time? Check out these great no-prep resources!
Your students will have “Snow Much Fun” doing these activities, they won’t realize how much they’re learning! All activities include a full-page answer key.
This packet includes six pages of ELA activities all based on a nonfiction selection about precipitation and the water cycle. Students will use context clues to complete a fill-in-the-blank cloze activity with a scientific vocabulary word bank.
Once students understand how snowflakes are formed, they will sequence the steps by numbering kid-friendly graphics filled with specific details. Finally, students will cut and paste the steps onto a Snowflake Timeline.
Students who finish early may enjoy the snowflake coloring page activity.
All activities have clear, easy-to-follow directions. The winter theme is festive, yet neutral enough to include children of every faith.
Small blanks have been placed before each term in the word bank so that students may check them off as they are used. Teachers may also differentiate this lesson for students who have difficulty writing, by placing letters in each blank for students to write use as answers instead of the vocabulary words.
NO PREP! Print-and-Go! Students will enjoy learning about the characteristics and behaviors of groundhogs. Teachers will love the versatile format and the easy grading features. Great for Groundhog Day, or ANY day!
This nonfiction reading packet includes the following nine (9) activities:
– Informal Pre-Assessment
– Ten-Question Post-Assessment
– Nonfiction Selection
– Text Mapping Activity
– Three Sets of Vocabulary Practice Sheets with Content Review
– Comprehension Activity Using Reworded Sentences
– Enrichment Activity for Early Finishers
– Full Page Answer Keys for All Activities
Sequential completion of these activities increases student comprehension since the content in each worksheet builds on the one before it. Activities can be presented one at a time, or combined into a skill packet. Teachers can provide guided instruction for each activity, or allow the students to work independently at their own pace.