You walk into the classroom and you can see the excitement on the students' faces when they find out that you are their substitute teacher for the day. This would be a substitute's dream! You can be the recipient of this warm reception by taking the lesson plans left for you by the classroom teacher and turning them into fun activities. While students think they are playing, you will be engaging them in some serious learning with these fun classroom activities.
After teaching a lesson, the next step is generally to ask questions and review the information to make sure the material was comprehended. Here are some fun ways to make the review exciting:
- Play "Garbage Can Basketball". Divide the students into two teams and line the teams up. Put a piece of tape on the floor in front of each team. The first person in line must always keep their feet behind the line. Put an empty trashcan about 10 feet in front of the line. Ask a review question and give the first student in line an opportunity to answer. If they answer correctly, give the student a wadded up piece of paper to use like a basketball. If the student can land the paper wad in the trashcan, their team receives a point. Continue by allowing the other team the opportunity to answer a question. The team with the most points at the end of the questions wins!
- Let the students become the teachers. Divide the students into four or five small groups. Allow them fifteen minutes to come up with a list of questions to review the lesson. Then allow each group to come to the front of the classroom and ask the class their questions. This gives them a sense of importance and causes them to restudy the material presented.
- Play "Tic-Tac-Toe". Draw a tic-tac-toe bracket on the board. Divide the class into two teams--one side will be the "X's" and the other side will be the "O's". Allow each team to huddle together and decide on a team answer to your questions. If they get the answer correct, put an "X" or an "O" in the box that they choose. Continue the game until one side gets three in a row.
- For science, social studies, or spelling lessons, use Charades to review. Have students act out the concept, vocabulary words, or spelling words and allow the rest of the class to guess the answers.
Learning doesn't have to be boring, and you don't have to be either! Give them something to go home and tell their parents about. We would love to hear how you are making learning fun for your students, so please share any great ideas you have in the comments below.