Archive for Time Filler

[extra] time saver: categories

seriously. love. this.

why? because it is flexible, educational, and quite fun (if I do say so myself).

oh, and the set up is easy.

= a great [extra] time saver!

need: chalkboard/whiteboard/smartboard
topic word
creative thinkers
thats it!

categories

1. Think of a topical word pertinent to season, holiday, class content

2. make sure above word does not have a lot of repeat letters
(Instead of using Steelers, use Superbowl)

3. Write that word, leaving spaces between each letter at the top of what will become your grid:
Since it’s almost the holiday of love, I’ll use HEART as my word
or, if teaching in an intermediate setting, VALENTINE would be great!

4. On the left side, vertically write your categories: noun, verb, adjective, pronoun, flower, food, sports team, city/country, color, historical figure, etc.
You can choose as many or as few categories as you want — based on time & grade level!

 

it should look like this:


you can also add grid lines to help separate spaces

5. Now, how you play this “game” is up to you. Usually, I call on students one by one to come up and fill in a square with a word. I usually do not give points or make it a race, just a fun brain stretching activity.

6. As always, it is incredibly important that you go over the guidelines: only school appropriate words, good behavior is rewarded with a turn, poor behavior is not, etc.

7. Once students get the hang of it, they can even make their own for a partner (graph paper aids this activity immensely!)

Woo hoo! And there you have it — a quick game that supports Language Arts skills, creative thinking, writing, & spelling.

enjoy creating these categories,

miss miller

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Friday Find II

Friday just got a little bit better because of this fabulous find:

Introducing: Storyline Online

Storyline Online is an amazing website featuring members of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) reading contemporary children’s books! Each book featured on this site has activities & lesson ideas included! Now that is fabulous!


Boasting over 20 books, this site answers a need for substitutes who are scrambling to find an engaging Language Arts lesson. Whether students listen to it individually at a lab or as a class on a screen projector, this site is fun & entertaining! It also provides all you need to make it a complete lesson, with enriching materials to increase interest in the material and learn more about the story itself!

After selecting a book, you are introduced to to content & author. To Be Adam is read by James Earl Jones — pretty neat!

Notice the tabs at the bottom of the screen: clicking on “Let’s Read it” opens up a screen showing the pictures as the story is read (not just the author reading for the duration of the book). Below, you find two ways to find content for the rest of your lesson: Related Activities & More Activities.

So next time you find yourself with extra time on your hands, turn to this site for some [famous] reading fun! Go check it out!

Here is an example of what students will view on StorylineOnline with Elijah Wood:

 

enjoy this treat!

miss miller

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a hello & an [extra] time saver: swat it

Hello & a warm welcome to friends from
The Bus Stop Blog!

It is so good to have you here. I would encourage you to take a look around, leave a comment or two & join this fabulous community of substitutes surviving this crazy adventure together!

[[feel free to subscribe to my blog & find me on twitter @missnmiller!]]

I have been updating with some [extra] time savers & fabulous finds — sure to help you out in your day to day activities.

Since I have some special visitors, I thought it would be fitting to share one of my favorite fillers!

swat it.

Yep. That’s right. Fly swatters + chalk board = a sweet [extra] time saver

Plus! Fly swatters + decorative flowers = an even sweeter [extra] time saver. [[just hot glue flowers to one side of swatter]]

Ok, I know what your thinking — “How can this be used in the classroom?”

Well, I’m happy to share that this activity can be multi-purpose! Just read & see:

GENERIC SWAT IT RULES:

1. Select a subject: math, spelling, vocabulary, etc.

2. Write correct & incorrect answers all over chalk/white board
(ie: If you are practicing spelling words, write every word from your list spelled correctly & then each word spelled incorrectly randomly, in no order, all over your chalk board)

3. Divide students into 2 teams. Have one representative from each team come to the board & face the students. (Have their back to the board.)

4. Give each student a fly swatter & instruct them to listen to the question, wait for your call of “go!” Then, students must turn around and try to “swat” the correct answer.

5. The first to swat the correct answer wins a point (or two, your choice!)

Consequences: To avoid noise, chatting, shouting out answers, provide a consequence such as a loss of a point.

Adaptations: I know that you are most likely not going to carry around fly swatters. Hands work just as well!

Word to the wise: Make sure that you explicitly state the rules so that there is no swatting of others.

Variations:
– Math:
Put up answers (numerical) to multiplication & division questions & hold up flash cards
History: Write terms & give students definitions
Spelling: Write words correctly & incorrectly, give definitions to find
Geography: Write states abbreviations, capitals, etc & have students find the correct match to what you state. (ie: Pennsylvania – PA or Harrisburg – PA)
– You name it, it can be incorporated into a swat it game.

Have fun & happy swatting!

missnmiller

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[extra] time savers

So you find yourself with extra time to fill…what to do?

Before the kids get antsy & the chatter begins, make sure you are prepared:

Aside from picking up a favorite book (or a Choose Your Own Adventure novel), it is important to have some “back-ups” ready to go when you’re in a pinch.

 

extra time FILLERS FOR SPELLING
[free printout, examples, & grade levels included]

  • rainbow writing: have students trace spelling words several times using a different color each time. (k-2) view my Rainbow Spell Example!
  • bye-bye cherry pie: a twist on the ever popular, sparkle. have students pass the cherry pie while spelling out the word one letter at a time. students sit down when sharing an incorrect letter. the last person to correctly spell the last letter passes the pie, that child then says (and waves) “bye bye cherry pie” and the next student sits down. repeat until one child remains. (1-6) print, color, & laminate your own Bye Bye Cherry Pie
  • speed spelling: have a board race between teams where they have to spell one word or the whole list — get creative! (2-6)
  • synonym search: have students have a spelling test (using white boards, as a board race, independently) by giving synonym clues for the spelling word (3-6)
  • spell benders: have wiki sticks or pipe cleaners? students can bend simple spelling words at their desk (k-2)
  • body spelling: teach children to stand tall for tall letters (b, d, f, h, etc.) sit in their chair for short letters (c, e, i, etc.) and touch their toes for letters that dip down (j, p, q, etc.). once students know how to use their body, give them spelling words to spell out loud & with motions (k-2)
  • basketball: have a hoop in the classroom, a trashcan, or bucket? then you are all set for basketball. divide students into teams, correct spelling = 2 points, a basket = 1 point. (1-6)
  • invisible man: a modern twist on hangman. draw a body (or have it relate to a unit: dinosaur, animal, house) and erase one part as team members spells a word correctly. first team to have an invisible man, wins! (1-6)

This is just the start of a list of things you can do to when you find an extra few minutes here & there. Being prepared & ready with fun fillers is a excellent management technique!

I’ll be updating shortly on more [extra] time savers.
Feel free to comment with your favorite, go to filler!

miss miller


 

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Choosing Your Own Adventure

Hello & Happy twenty- eleven! My apologies for the extreme hiatus.  Much has happened in the last few month & I’m excited to continue my blogging about the ups, downs, & all around adventures of substitute teaching.

A new year, a fresh start ~ It’s the perfect time to readjust your thinking & get excited about the journey you are on in the great, ever-dynamic world of teaching. I couldn’t help but start this post with some encouragement. January can be quite a stagnant month for educators, so why not take this time to find a mantra & cling to it for the new calendar year & the duration of the current school year. 

It makes me think about one of my favorite childhood series, Choose Your Own Adventure. When reading these books, you would get transported to a world with abominal snowmen or deep sea creatures. At the peak of the adventure, you would be left to choose how you would respond, altering the path of the main characters and ultimately the ending of the book.

We have the same choice, too, in our lives to decide our attitude towards our current situation. I encourage you to choose your own adventure — find a motto & stick to it, set a goal & take small steps to achieve it, steal a moment to reflect on the past year & choose the path you will take this year to make a difference in the lives of others.

Not only can this book be a great reminder for us daily, but it can also be a super time-filler for substitute teachers. Need a transition activity? Have extra time at the end of a class? Trying to find a way to get children settled before dismissal? Sounds like you need a copy of Choose Your Own Adventure! Check one out at the local library or snag your own copy & keep with you at all times.

It is perfect for the elementary child. After a few pages of reading, the class is left to decide between two options — take a vote, call on a child, or roll a dice to decide the next step! This keeps students engaged and is perfect for reinforcing habits of good readers: predicting, making inferences, drawing conclusions, summarizing…& the list continues!

Just another idea to keep stashed in your bag of tricks. I hope that these stories can come in handy ~ especially during the sluggishly slow month of january!

Do you have a book of choice that you pick up to read as a filler? Comment & let me know!

happy 2011,
miss miller

  

  

 

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