You never know when you are going to need just five quick minutes of fun. You might have just few extra moments before lunch, or maybe your class is disengaged and needs a quick energizer to overcome the Monday slump. This go-to activity is a "must-have" in your substitute arsenal.
Rock, Paper, Scissors is a traditional favorite. Children typically partner up calling out "Rock, Paper, Scissors, Shoot!" On "shoot" players flash a rock, paper or scissors sign. This game can easily be adjusted to practice math facts. Instead of showing a rock or a scissors symbol, students show a few fingers on one or both hands. Students race to add the number of fingers shown by both players together. The first student who calls out the sum of the numbers wins the round.
This game is easily adapted to many different levels and needs. Students can also be instructed to find the difference or the product of the numbers. For an even more challenging game, students can play in larger groups of three or four. Keep the children engaged by switching up partners frequently. Avoid frustration by monitoring pairings to be sure that all the students are able to win some rounds. Join in on the fun by participating, modeling skills for winning and losing a round with sportsmanship.
By tapping into the familiarity of an old favorite, you can quickly engage all of your students - getting them up and moving and filling a few extra minutes with meaningful practice. What tricks do you keep on hand for that extra time that inevitably comes up on every sub job?