Fillers—or sponge activities—use the time between lessons on activities in a fun yet educational way. These short activities absorb the short bits of time that occur throughout the school day. Several suggested classroom fillers are included below.
- Keep fillers related to academic work, but fun and simple, too.
- Use fillers when there are only 5 to 15 minutes left in the period or at the end of the day.
- Use fillers for rainy or snowy day schedules, when the students have to stay inside during recess and lunch.
Around the World
Around the World is a whole-class game where students answer questions or give answers for flash cards. They work their way through the group to get “around the world.”
- Students stand behind their seats.
- Choose a starting person and the rotation to be used.
- The first student in the rotation stands beside the second student in the rotation at the second student’s seat.
- The teacher holds up a flash card.
- The first student of the pair to answer correctly moves to stand beside the next student in the rotation.
- The student who did not answer remains where he or she is.
- This continues until at least one student makes it completely “around the world” (around the entire rotation or class).
- An alternate setup is for students to stand in a circle, and the student who answers correctly moves to stand behind the next student in the rotation.
- This activity works well with vocabulary, math facts, picture cards for foreign language learning, and other content-based material.
This is classic bingo with an educational twist.
- Print a blank bingo card for each student.
- Provide a list of items to be entered on the bingo cards, such as a range of numbers, vocabulary words, or pictures of items.
- List more items than can fit on the cards so that each student’s card will be different.
- Students fill out their own cards from the list provided.
- Read the problem or definition out loud.
- Students cover a correct answer with a bingo chip.
- The game continues until someone gets a complete row across, down, or diagonally and can shout out “Bingo!”
- Choose items by using a set of flash cards to randomly select math facts, picture cards for vocabulary, lists of spelling words, definition cards for vocabulary, or lists of synonyms and antonyms.
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