We have all been there. Your planned activities have all been finished or the children took a lot less time to change from PE and you have five minutes left before the bell rings. What should you do? Here are twenty ideas to fill the time meaningfully
1. Ask students to write a question and answer about your topic on a two piece jigsaw and then mix them up to use as a starter next lesson.Resource here.
2. Ask students to ‘frame’ their one best idea or piece of learning from the lesson. This could be either in their books on on an actual frame in the classroom. Resource here.
3. Get the students to write a question and put it in a plastic egg. They they have to *carefully* throw the eggs and each answer a question. Resource here.
4. Get students to create an advent calendar of questions. These can then be used when December comes around.Resource here.
5. Create plenary cards for the classroom door and ask students to write a sentence on each. Resource here.
6. Create a classroom ‘wish’ and ‘question’ wall and have each student contribute an idea to each. Resource here.
7. Ask students to use post-it notes to indicate how confident they feel with the learning in the lesson, or somewhere they would like the learning to go to. You can take a photograph of this and use it at the end of the next lesson to show progress. Resource here.
8. Have students ‘tweet’ their learning in 140 characters, either using a class # you can create into kinesthetic typography with Spout App which you can project, or on paper. Resource here.
9. Get children to describe something in the minimum number of words – eg a square, (without saying the word square) in three words
10. Ask students to complete a lesson exit ticket. It is really useful to reflect on if their have achieve the lesson objectives and I always ask them to add a personal objective – such as to ensure they take detailed notes or try and contribute in class.Resource here.
11. Create a ‘stuck with you’ wall and make a display of all the learning so far in a topic. It is really encouraging to see this grow every lesson. Resource here.
12. Create a dice of higher order thinking questions about a topic and students have to roll it and answer at least one question. Resource here.
13. Use a ball in the classroom (or balloon) for students to write something they have learnt in the lesson. Warning – board pens rub off and leave hands very grubby! Resource here.
14. Ask learners to write five sentences about their learning. They then have to reduce these to five words and then one word. Much harder than it sounds!
15. Ask learners to contribute three things they learnt today to a shared Padlet wall. They can then be converted to a PDF and shared on the school VLE for revision.
16. Ask students to draw on mini whiteboards what they have learnt in the lesson.
17. Play just a minute. Pick five students and ask them to talk for one minute about their learning today. Projecting a big countdown clock adds to the drama.
18. Ask each student to pick a keyword from the lesson and use it to create a word cloud or Wordeo.
19. Ask students to write 3 pub quiz style questions on their learning that you can use as a quiz next lesson.
20. Tidy up! All classrooms can do with some love and attention so use the time to give your classroom a bit of TLC. Play a song when doing so, which oddly the students seem to enjoy.