Time Fillers and end of the day.

Discussion in 'First Grade' started by Olivesmom, Nov 13, 2007.

  1. Olivesmom

    Olivesmom Rookie

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    Nov 13, 2007

    Hello. I was wondering if anyone had some ideas for time fillers when you have about 5 to 10 minutes with nothing to do. This is my first year teaching in first grade (student taught in first however). My class is insane and they cannot have a minute with nothing to do. Does anyone have any ideas for time fillers besides I spy and games like hangman?
    Also how do you handle the end of the day? I have started getting my kids ready about 45 minutes early because I still have several parents who don't seem to understand when school ends and come super early (even though it has been made blatently clear. Does not seem to matter in the area I work in, kids come late to school everyday too!) and it also takes them so long to get their things in a calm manner that I can't rush it. I usually just have them do a coloring sheet because they will not sit still and read books. Any other suggestions for activities that don't involve me being at the board since I have to keep one eye on the class and one eye on the hall?
     
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  3. DaveF

    DaveF Companion

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    Nov 13, 2007

    I do mental math with my 1st graders. No fingers, addition & subtraction. They like it. I try to keep it fast paced.
     
  4. maroki

    maroki Comrade

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    Nov 13, 2007

    I do a couple different things:

    Spelling word review with our bodies (clapping, stomping, jumping...I don't mind them getting a little rowdy since they'll be going home in about 15 minutes)

    Reading Comprehension papers; I read the story and they answer questions

    Practicing math facts (skip counting, doubles facts, etc.)

    A fun crossword or word search; if they don't finish it they put it in their "unfinished work" folder and we'll pull it out another time

    Sometimes if they really need calming down, I'll grab a book from the bookshelf and do a read aloud.
     
  5. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    Nov 13, 2007

    Hangman using spelling words.

    I give challenge questions. The students get to decide if they want a hard or easy question. I tailor the question for each student and I just go through the class and ask them a review question related to something we just learned or something that we learned at the beginning of the school year. Sometimes they answer verbally, sometimes they have to use the white board... We do challenge questions every morning after calendar and they LOVE it!
     
  6. ozteach

    ozteach Comrade

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    Nov 14, 2007

    I use this time to chat with them. Sit them in a circle and ask them questions, eg:
    what was the best thing you did today?
    what did you do that made you proud?
    what would you love to have for dinner (healthy)?
    how will you get home (describe route)?
    what have you read today/last night?

    My kids love this time! And, it helps me get to know what's going on.
    We are a religious school and use this time for a daily devotion also and learning the memory verse.
     
  7. cmw

    cmw Groupie

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    Nov 14, 2007

    songs - wee sing & ken sheldon have great cds. (great following direction songs. I've used with preK-3). also kidz bop has current songs.
    4 corners & silent ball
    hot potatoe :D
     
  8. SaraFirst

    SaraFirst Cohort

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    Nov 14, 2007

    I don't have my kids pack up until about 5 minutes before the walker bell. If a parent comes in early, they can wait a few minutes while their child packs up. If we have a few minutes while we are waiting in line, we might say the sounds or spell our spelling words. We might also clap word wall words. I ask them what their homework is to make sure they remember and we sometimes talk about what they did that day. I always say something to them as they leave (goodbye _____, see you tomorrow, have a good night, etc.).
     
  9. soflgal

    soflgal Companion

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    Nov 14, 2007

    I am 4th grade this year but I have taught first in the past. I love reading poems Shel Silverstein (where the sidewalk ends or a light in the attic). I also like to do brain quest. Sometimes kids bring in things to share and I allow them to share during this time.

    Hope this helps.
     
  10. snickydog

    snickydog Groupie

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    Nov 15, 2007

    If we have a little extra time, I like to play Sparkle with them to practice their spelling words or other words they should know. Also, we do some mental math problems, or get in a circle and practice counting and saying particular numbers loudly. For example, if we're working on counting by 5s, the first child whispers 1, the second child whispers 2, etc until we get to the fifth child, who shouts 5!, then the 6th child whispers 6, etc.

    I'll also read aloud from our chapter book, do a clap rhythm they follow, sing "Who Stole the Cookies from the Cookie Jar" (we sang it the first day to get to know each other's names and have asked to sing it all the time since), review poems we've learned and written on chart paper, go over alphabet flashcards for letter/sound recognition, etc.
     
  11. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Nov 15, 2007

    I'm stealing this right from the Discovery Toys game "Children's Quiz" that I owned and played as a kid... except I don't use their cards for letters or categories, I just make up my own. Give the group a category (foods, places to go, things you wear, animals, etc) and a letter. They come up with as many words as they can beginning with that letter that fit the category.

    When I play with a group, I like to do it that in order to answer, they must raise their hand. If their hand is up, they much have an answer. You can't repeat answers... so if someone else says yours, put your hand down until you think of a new one. (I do a more basic version of this with my preschoolers and give them a letter OR a category). Their goal is to go as long as they can without repeating answers. Kids I've played this game with LOVED it. :)
     
  12. daisyduck123

    daisyduck123 Companion

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    Nov 17, 2007

    I sit my kids on the rug (after they are all packed up) & have one student sit in my chair & flash students the flashcards. This way, I have 5 minutes to do "end of the day" stuff & the kids are occupied.

    Sometimes, I have a 5th grade patrol helper in the room for dismissal & she does the flashcards for the class.
     
  13. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Nov 17, 2007

    :eek:I can't imagine giving up 45 minutes of instructional time each day! That's 3 hours and 45 minutes of lost instructional time per week!

    If we get the kids ready any more than 5 or 10 minutes in advance, we'd get in serious trouble at our school.

    If you don't teach anything for the last 45 minutes of the day, parents will take that as a sign that nothing important goes on at the end of the day, so why not come early? It is a self-fufilling prophecy.

    If parents come early to my class, oh well! They can just wait while their little darling packs up, nicely and neatly.
     
  14. love2teach

    love2teach Enthusiast

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    Nov 17, 2007

    Stop packing up early because of parents! If they come early, they will have to wait for their child to pack up.

    As for the end of the day fillers, things like simon says, eye spy, flash card review or singing songs are great!
     
  15. firstgradeteach

    firstgradeteach Comrade

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    Nov 17, 2007

    Time fillers

    I use math fact review. All oral responses.
    Guess the word wall word. ("I'm thinking of a word that starts with a 't' and is in the 'at' word family. What is the word?")
    My students keep their dry erase boards in their desks. We will have a short making words activity. ("Start with writing the word cat. Change the 'c' to a 'buh" sound. What is your new word?")

    The end of the day I have 20 minutes for SSR. This is also a time for snack. Eating the snack and reading keeps them more focused. I tried at the beginning of the year to just have them read but only half could handle the 30 minutes for the whole time. Having 20 minutes allows me enough time to meet quickly with my low reading group to go over their book 1 more time before they go home and fill out behavior contracts.

    My principal tells parents that they can take their child early but it will be counted as a half day missed. This has eliminated the problem of pick up parents just wanting to grab their child and go.
     
  16. cmgeorge626

    cmgeorge626 Companion

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    Nov 17, 2007

    *read a book together
    *play "Battle" with math facts or Sight Words (form two teams and flash cards at the two players in front, first to shout out correct answer goes to the end of their line and the other kid sits down)
    *sing songs
    *read a book with a buddy
     
  17. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Nov 17, 2007

    If parents arrive a few minutes early, I do not let them inside the classroom. I kindly ask them to wait outside until the final bell rings.

    I do not begin getting ready for dismissal until 3-5 minutes before the bell rings!

    As far as end-of-day time fillers go, I would try doing mental math. You could also do some sort of flash card review with addition and subtraction. Music is another option. I have some great CDs that the kids love singing and dancing to (try Greg and Steve CDs or some other sing-along).

    I hope your situation gets better!
     
  18. Mrs LC

    Mrs LC Comrade

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    Nov 18, 2007

    I pack up 5-10 minutes before the bell; 5 minutes before on a normal day, 10 minutes before if we've been cutting out, the room's a mess or we've been using the laptops - these things all take longer to tidy and clean.

    Usually this means we are packed up and ready to go 2-3 minutes before dismissal time. I use this time for reminders of due dates and events, and then I read. We always have a class novel on the go and read about 10 novels in a year - the kids love being read to and it keeps them engaged for anything from 1-20 minutes.
     
  19. Olivesmom

    Olivesmom Rookie

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    Nov 18, 2007


    You have to understand that I have a very out of control class. I teach in a very bad area of town and the kids have major behavior issues. It honestly takes us a while to get ready because their bags and things are outside of the classroom which means that I have to watch both inside the room and the hallway or the kids in the hallway are bound to run into the bathroom or have issues and the kids inside the class are bound to get into something. As far as the parents go, it is hard to keep arguing with them when their reason is that they come early is that they need to get to work on time. I understand when some people say, just don't let them come in but it is easier said than done. And it has been tried. If I could close my door, I would. These kids are very unpredictable and hard to manage so if I lose some instructional time I would rather have that than have to deal with chaos if I tried to get 24 kids ready in five minutes....every classroom is different.
     
  20. EducatorForGod

    EducatorForGod Rookie

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    My class

    I use the time for reading a story or getting to know my students better. I ask them questions or I let them ask questions. I feel it is good for them to be able to express themselves. It is always fun & my students are so cute. :) Another teacher on this thread said they do this as well. It is a GREAT idea & it works well for my students.
     
  21. bakingdiva

    bakingdiva Companion

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    Jan 13, 2008

    We give each other compliments. And they can't be "I like your shirt." They must be school related and they have to compliment the person behind them. I start with the leader and it goes down the line. It was kinda tough to start, because they didn't understand the concept of complimenting someone. After tons of modeling, they love it! If I run out of time, they get upset. "We haven't given our compliments yet!!!!" This really helps to build a classroom of respectful learners and community.
     
  22. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Jan 13, 2008

    I do a lot of Dr.Jean's songs and dances (Tooty Ta is a favorite) at the end of the day. I also keep poetry and song folders for the students that have many of the songs and poems we do at school, known nursery rhymes, and word family poems. We do different activities with them such as finding rhyming words, find the word wall words, sound words out, etc...
     
  23. Emma35

    Emma35 Connoisseur

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    Jan 17, 2008

    Sometimes at the end of a long day I want some peace and quiet! So we play Silent Ball. I have a beach ball. All the kids have to stand up. The ball is tossed around from child to child and everyone must remain SILENT. If they giggle, whisper, or anything short of a cough they have to sit down. Last one standing wins. They take this very serious! Educational value - well maybe following directions, who knows? Sometimes it just helps me keep my sanity at the end of a long day!
     
  24. MMRbella

    MMRbella Companion

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    Jan 19, 2008

    I have my kids pack up 45 minutes early also, just so it's out of the way. Once everything is ready, we have Writers Workshop, or SS/Science. We keep going even though our things are packed! :)

    If I need a time filler at the very end of the day, we sometimes play sparkle (a spelling game), do stretches, read a story, or do reinforcement worksheets (from mailbox books).

    It takes about a minute and a half for ALL of my students to pack up their things. :) To get them to get used to packing up quickly... I turned it into a game. I divided the class in half, and every day each group would get a chance to pack up while I timed them. At the end, we would compare the times to see which group packed up the fastest, and the kids on the winning team would all get small stickers on their hands. I eventually changed it to girls versus boys, and at this point the whole class packs up together and tries to beat their own records (which currently a minute and 21 seconds).
    There are a few rules however-- if there's running, talking, or pushing, the game is over.
    My kids look forward to it, and are all ready to go in less than a couple minutes without any talking or running!
     
  25. Mrs LC

    Mrs LC Comrade

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    Jan 19, 2008

    We play this too sometimes - we call it Silent Speedball because the kids have to throw it quickly. If they drop a good throw they are out, if it's a bad throw the thrower is out. When they get too good, I add things like, right hand behind the back, one eye shut (that's a hard one!), or both. We use a variety of soft balls and beanbags to make it harder - but of course, my kids are a lot older than yours!:)
     
  26. buck8teacher

    buck8teacher Devotee

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    Jan 19, 2008

    Here are some things that have worked for me:
    1. I have a beach ball filled with getting to you questions and sometimes we toss it around.
    2. We play "Be a mind reader" from the word wall
    3. We review our skipcounting chants
    4. Do a community building game

    However, their favorite thing is brain quests! I got my set on ebay for pennies. I take the questions everywhere, while waiting on hearing screenings, pictures, etc. and it really helps keep them settled while we have to wait for things.

    In one of my morning meeting books, they suggested an afternoon wrap up where you review what you learned that day, did some trivia questions, etc. It seems like a great end of the day activity!

    Hope this helps!
     
  27. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Jan 20, 2008

    Fun game!!!

    "Sparkle" is such a fun game. We play it every Friday morning prior to our weekly spelling test! :up:
     

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