Last week in a Grade 8 class, I found the students getting the "back to school - start up your class" activities in far less time than anticipated. I used to teach summer camp and I was a youth worker AND I have been in a variety of classes of various grade levels over the past nine years. I have a very large 'bag of tricks' and don't mind filling 5-10 minute 'gaps' with activities, but sometimes I want to try new ideas and I know some teachers, especially new teachers and new TTOCs, aren't always sure how to fill these blocks of time.
When I started teaching I did my "short practicum" with a middle school teacher who called these activities "SPONGE" activities. There is debate over using these "time fillers" but I feel if they are educational, or serve a purpose (getting to know your classmates, team building, academic, etc.) then go for it.
Here are some ideas from WE ARE TEACHERS blog:
1) Show your students one of these videos and relate it back to your lesson/content somehow.
|Video||Description||Possible way of relating back to lesson/topic|
|The Awareness Test||A fun test of student's awareness||The importance of paying attention|
|Kid President's Pep Talk to Teachers and Students||A young man's heartwarming pep talk||The power of positivity/goal-setting|
|Zombie Kid Likes Turtles||A reporter asks a boy a question, and ... well, you'll just have to watch it.||The importance of staying on-topic|
|The Power of Words||A short (fictional) interaction between a homeless man and a woman who understands the power of words||The power of words|
|Kseniya Simonova - Sand Animation||Simonova uses sand as a storytelling medium. Amazing!||The power of visuals|
Eric Whitacre: A Virtual Choir 2,000 Voices Strong
|Whitacre creates a virtual choir with 2,000 submitted videos||The limitlessness of creativity|
**I haven't watched these videos all yet, as always - a teacher should fully view any video before showing it to a class!!!
2. Play Trashketball
3. Play Reviewsical Chairs
4. Write down as many ### as you can (animals, provinces, states, vegetables, etc.)
5. Hold a limmerick contest
6) Create fun structured conversations. Give the whole class a sentence stem that they have to fill in themselves, and then make them go find at least 10 different partners to practice it with. The repetition of both speaking and listening will help cement it in their brains, and the not-sitting-in-their-chairs will make it fun.
- "One thing I will remember to tell my future grandchildren about differential equations is _____"
- "I shall uphold the honor of my English teacher, Ms./Mr. _____ and never mix up 'you're' and 'your.' I will remember the difference by _____."
- "I'm going to go straight home and tell everyone on Facebook how the most important thing I learned about cells is ____."
- "If I made a modern-day movie about the Shakespeare play we read today, I would cast _____ as _______ because they are both ______."
Read more details and ideas at the source: http://www.weareteachers.com/blogs/post/2014/09/25/what-to-do-with-that-awkward-5-or-10-minutes-of-class-you-have-left