Filling the empty time at the end of class

Discussion in 'General Education' started by StudentTeacher4, Sep 8, 2015.

  1. StudentTeacher4

    StudentTeacher4 New Member

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    Sep 8, 2015

    I do not have a whole lot of teaching experience, but I would love some ideas from teachers with more experience about how to fill the empty time when you finish a lesson early or things don't take as long as you expected them to. What do you do with those last 5, 10, or 15 minutes?
    :thanks:
     
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  3. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    While I rarely have those moments (always wanting 5-10-15 more minutes ;)), I'd use that time to extend their learning. In math, that might mean looking at a more difficult problem that uses concepts learned to solve it. In reading, that might be making connections between a text they were reading and the current read aloud. It might mean coming up examples of the water cycle existing in some real life situations (i.e. bringing up a problem of why there's sometimes ice on the inside of a windshield, which I did last year).

    There really should never be any "empty time", except for maybe when you know you can't start a learning activity up and finish it in that time period. However, there will always be those awkward blocks of 3 minutes or 7 minutes...but I try to stay away from "time fillers" and instead improvise based on the learning that is taking place and the learning targets I'm trying to help them reach and go beyond.
     
  4. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    I know if we had a few mins say before going to lunch or end of day. We would do a few different things. Mind you I student taught in K & taught 1st. We would donword plays. I would try to find a seasonal one like 2 little apples. We may play sparkle, ask random math facts or any other subject we were working on. I know when I subbed a teacher had a box of those Brain something (sorry can't think of name off hand) and ask those. Hope this helps.
     
  5. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I wish I could get some of that time. I'm always running out of time.

    But there are days when I do get that time.

    I have a monkey hanging from my projector screen. I also have a roll of tickets. When we have extra time, we play Quiz Monkey.

    I shoot the monkey (the monkey has extendable arms that let's it shoot at kids) at certain kids, and then pop them a question. If they get it right they get a ticket. They then either have to pass it back to me or to someone else in the room, and I ask another question. etc. This can easily be replaced with a ball and used in any subject, but a monkey has more pizzazz in my opinion.

    The tickets can be used during certain activities during the year to purchase goods from my "Engineer's Outpost" to use in their engineering projects, or they can trade them in for Otter Pops at another teachers' Otter Pop store.

    This works when I have about 5 minutes of time to kill. Any less, and there's not enough time. I just have them clean up the room. Any more, and I'm not planning my lessons well enough. We could play it for longer, but it would get boring quick. It's just good for a few minutes of high-energy excitement at the end of a period.
     
  6. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    I try to make sure that any time left over in my class is spent reviewing the lesson, checking for understanding, and working on assignments. That way, they have me there if they look at their homework and draw a complete blank how to turn the lesson into a product (meaning a finished assignment).
     
  7. PrincessPea

    PrincessPea New Member

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    I'd invest in a large bag of candy--something like Hershey's kisses-- and spend the last few minutes asking questions about the material learned earlier. If the student gets a question right, they get a treat.
     
  8. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Sep 8, 2015

    Extension activities
    Exit tickets
    In math, I teach math games to complement instruction
    Nonfiction reading and note jotting related to SS/Science content
    Read alouds at end of reading workshop time
    Share writing with a partner during writing workshop
     
  9. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    For my seniors, I have a stock of lateral thinking problems, like how to cut a standard cake into 8 equal pieces with only 3 cuts.
     
  10. MLB711

    MLB711 Comrade

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    Peregrin5, that game sounds amazing. I need to invest in a monkey with extendable arms that I can shoot at people!

    I play a similar game to quiz monkey. Usually it's just vocab words or content I taught that day. This year I have sticks with all their names from each class and I pull them at random.
     
  11. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    I usually read aloud or review. This time of year, I'm more likely to just have the kids pack up and line up early - that way, I can be picky about how we're doing those things. I can have kids line up slowly and quietly and have time to send them back to their seats if necessary.

    ETA: They don't know when it's early ;)
     
  12. Mr. Radiohead

    Mr. Radiohead Rookie

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    Sep 9, 2015

    Independent reading time. I am always looking for ways to steal more time to read.
     
  13. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Having a few minutes extra time is rare, but when it does happen, we usually play a math or vocabulary game.
     
  14. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    Mr. Rogers (of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood) had a unique way of closing his lessons. He would thank his (television) students for making the day so special. Perhaps this is a good time for the teacher to complement the students for their hard work, for something s/he noticed that day that showed a growing maturity, or some goals the class has been obtaining.
     
  15. Koriemo

    Koriemo Comrade

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    Sep 9, 2015

    I teach high school English. I teach 2 sections of each class, and I always have one section that moves a bit faster than the other. I nearly always plan my classes so that students have 10 minutes to work on homework at the end of the class period, so that gives me some leeway if I get done early or late.

    If I do have extra time, I quiz them on their vocabulary. Or we have "story time" when I tell them stories from my own high school/college days that usually have some sort of lesson to them.
     
  16. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    I usually have students start homework too. I forgot about that one.
     
  17. Geologygirl

    Geologygirl Comrade

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    Sep 9, 2015

    I ask students to mention one thing they learned taking turns as a game. They can't repeat what others said. To make it more challenging I have them mention one thing they learned that starts with the last letter of what the previous student said.

    You can do an exit ticket also asking them to write a response to a question.
     

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