Fill-in activites for elementary age kids

Discussion in 'Substitute Teachers' started by anna9868, Nov 4, 2014.

  1. anna9868

    anna9868 Habitué

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    I would like to carry some activities (or ideas for games) with me as I go subbing with elementary school kids. Something that doesn't require copying and would be good for a class of 20-25 students.

    Can anyone share any ideas? any good sites to get those ideas?

    thanks,
    Anna
     
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  3. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Some of the things I always liked to throw in my bag:
    - a couple of rich picture books to read and use as writing prompts
    - some math bingo games
    - number puzzles--sudoku, magic squares, etc.
     
  4. Ms.Blank

    Ms.Blank Companion

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    I bought four decks of math flashcards for $1 each at Target (I've also seen them at Walmart). I have an addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division pack. Depending on the grade, I take a pack and we play around the world. The kids LOVE it. You could easily make this take up 15-20 minutes or more. Basically, you pick one student who is "it". He/she stands behind another student. You hold up a flashcard. First person to get the answer right moves and stands behind the next person (so if "it" got it, he/she just moves behind the next student. If the sitting student got it, then "it" sits in the chair and the winning student stands behind the next student's chair). You keep going until you're sick of it, they're sick of it, or you're out of time. Usually teachers will have some sort of ticket system or a school reward that you can reward the winner. If not, you could always bring some cool pencils or prizes or whatever. For 2nd grade, I use addition (maybe subtraction later in the year), 3rd I use multiplication (maybe do a mix of addition and subtraction if they're behind), 4th multiplication, 5th division, and 6th a mix of multiplication/division. Of course, see what the level of the class is and go from there. I think my favorite thing about this game is that my ESL students still get to participate, since it's numbers. My students usually recognize the numbers and can give me an answer. (I have a boy at one school who gives me answers in Spanish :) )

    I could see this working with sight words for K-1st graders, although you'd probably have to make your own cards for that. With my pre-Ks, I like to hold up the foamy letters they have for playtime and ask them what letter it is. We don't make it a competition, but just everyone participates. I did this the other day when I needed to fill some time and it lasted a surprisingly long time (about 15 minutes!), and the students were engaged the whole time. I think they like the big, obnoxious, foamy letters lol.
     
  5. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    We would do around the world, end of day the game mum ball. I would do hang man...but do a butterfly or turkey... seasonal related kids LOVED it! I know how to count in Japanese so the older kids thought it was cool to learn that. We would play sparkle with their spelling words.

    Little ones fun finger play songs are great!
     
  6. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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  7. Ms.Blank

    Ms.Blank Companion

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    I like the language idea. Our district has a sign language teacher that comes in, reads a story, then teaches the kids three or four words in sign language. They love it! This could be good if you know a different language (although I would tread cautiously...I took Spanish in high school, but I'm definitely not about to try to "teach" Spanish to my ELS students who are fluent lol )

    Yes, finger songs! Does your district have Starfall? In my district, if the teacher I'm subbing for uses the program, then when I turn on the computer and go to the Starfall website, it will already be logged in automatically, ready for me to use. If I recall correctly, they have songs like the teensy weensy spider on their site. I believe there is some free content, as well, if your schools don't have an account.

    I have actually been meaning to make a CD with different songs on it for me to bring to classes. One that I've found that I NEED for pre-K is the "clean up" song, lol. I played it once (one teacher happened to have it) and it worked like MAGIC. Must...get...for future sub assignments! But here I'm thinking of expanding on this idea...getting songs you can sing with the kids. Kids love to sing. I've been in as old as fourth grade and they still will sing a guided song without thinking it's "lame".
     
  8. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    You can always do hangman with numbers, as well...and it can differ depending on the level:

    2 + 4 = 6 can be __ __ __ __ __ (with students calling any symbol...i.e. equals sign...operation, or digit)
    or even
    74 x 5 = 370 can be __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __

    Great opportunity for some higher-level thinking (if they notice it is 2 digits, a blank for the operation, then 1 digit, then an equals sign, then 1 digit...they know it can't be multiplication or addition!)
     
  9. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    I only knew how to count on Japanese... An exchange student from Japan taught it to me, so I felt pretty confident in teaching them to count to 10.


    Love the math idea as well.
     
  10. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    I always love Brain Quest - lots of trivia facts and figures that students tend to remember. Make it a game, with two teams if you want - it will use op time while remaining educational.
     
  11. Ms.Blank

    Ms.Blank Companion

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    Oh I wasn't trying to imply that you didn't know what you were doing! Right after I typed what a good idea to teach students something new like a language was, I realized "haha, oh goodness, what if I made the bonehead move of trying to teach Spanish to native Spanish speakers?" I was laughing at myself, that was all :lol:
     
  12. anna9868

    anna9868 Habitué

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    thank you for all the interesting ideas! My main problem is I often don't know how well I'll be able to engage a whole class into an activity/game of my own, so I'm hesitant to try.

    for example, I thought of handman. Great game! HOwever, in a class of 25+ kids how well would it fly? I should I say, what grade do you think it would definitley make sense to play? I'm sure K and 1st it's too early, those kiddos won't have the patience. 2nd, 3rd?

    Also, never heard of hangman with numbers. And I cannot figure out fro your post, mathmagic, what the rules are, can you explain a little bit?

     
  13. anna9868

    anna9868 Habitué

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    As for teaching counting, etc. in a foreign language, the same problem here. I speak another language, and I tried once to teach kids some russian words in the very beginning (they actually asked), but that got them too excited and distracted. Maybe I should say, when we have a free moment, I'll teach you, if they are interested.
     
  14. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Same thing as hangman with words. Instead, they are guessing numbers, symbols (in most cases, just the equals sign...it works as a freebie ;)), and operations (x, +, -, /) rather than letters. If it isn't in the puzzle (that you have pre-decided...I eventually had some kids come up with their own number sentences for me to use), you begin to build the hangman. You can even build the hangman by making each body part in the shape of a number or mathematical symbol, if you want to have a bit of fun :p
     
  15. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Nov 9, 2014

    Oh If I didn't feel confident I wouldn't have done it....but the kids LOVED it because it wasn't something they heard everyday!!! LOL. Actually a lot of them wanted me to teach further. LOL!!!
     

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