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Four Fun Classroom Activities When You Are In A Pinch

Colouring pencils
Foter / CC BY-SA

As a substitute teacher, the day can be stressful enough. Between taking attendance and trying to understand and fulfill the teacher's plans to the best of your ability, it can be a handful. Of course then there are always those extra ten minutes that seem to appear out of thin air. Using some fun classroom activities can be a great way to keep kids engaged and motivated during those spans of time. Remember an engaged classroom is one of the best ways to manage said classroom!

Here are some fun and very simple activities to try the next time you are subbing:

  1. Hangman - Content-specific hangman can be a fun way to spend time. Students love getting up and writing on the board. This can be very effective in Foreign Languages where spelling and grammar can be hard for students to remember. It works great as a way to study for upcoming tests and quizzes.
  2. Coloring/drawing - Have a stash of season or holiday appropriate pictures for students to color. Make sure to have blank paper too. Those and some crayons or colored pencils are a great way to occupy students of all ages. It isn't stressful for the students and can be fun. Can also be made content specific if one has the time to prepare.
  3. Silence - Ask students to arrange themselves in order by birthday. This encourages teamwork and problem solving. They are able to move around which gives an outlet for their energy.
  4. Let's Tell A Story - Easily made content-specific. Choose pertinent vocab words or concepts related to the current chapter or topic the class is focusing on. Write a sentence on the board; ask for a volunteer to write. Each student adds a sentence to the story until it is completed. This can be tied in to activity two because the students could then illustrate their story.
These are just a few easy activities to keep students engaged while subbing. These activities are designed to require little to no preparation time. As a substitute teacher you may not always know where you are going to be on any given day. Adaptability can be key!
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