Relief Teaching Ideas

Sharing ideas to help make relief teaching fun, enjoyable, and meaningful.

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Roll a 6!

Did you ever play the Chocolate Game? It was a very popular birthday party game when I was at primary school. You would take turns rolling a die. If you rolled a 6 you would dress up in a silly costume & then use a knife & fork to cut & eat from a block of chocolate. It was a noisy, fast paced game, and we all loved it!

This is NOT that game but reminds me a little of it.

Roll a 6!


Each group will need:
– 1 piece of paper
– 1 die
– 1 pencil

How to Play

– Divide class into groups of 4 or 5
– Hand out equipment needed
– Students sit in a circle
– Students take turns rolling the die
– If they roll a 6 they start writing the numbers 1 – 100 on the piece of paper.
– When someone else rolls a 6 they take over the writing of the number, from wherever the previous person finished.
For example: Student A writes 1 – 12, Student B rolls a 6 so takes over & starts writing 13, 14, 15, etc…until the next person rolls a 6, and so on & on.
– The winner is the student who writes the number 100!


– Instead of rolling a 6, students need to roll a 1 (or any other number you choose)
– Have students write/count by 2s or 5s, instead of 1s
– Have students roll 2 dice. The dice have to add up to 10 for them to start writing (or any other +, – or x that you would like!)


Number Sense Craftivity

– Students trace their hands, cut out & glue down onto A3 paper, except for the fingers!

They can then make sums to 10 by folding the fingers down & counting, and recording the sums underneath.

Older students can use this craft to learn the 9 times table finger trick!

Fold down the finger that you are multiplying 9 by (e.g. For 6×9 you would fold down the 6th finger). Count how many fingers are to the left of that folded down finger (5) & how many are to the right of that finger (4). That is your answer! 6 x 9 = 54!


I originally saw this idea on this page: but I didn’t have a cricut machine to make the hands.

Instead the kids trace their own hands to work with. I also decided to get them to record their sums underneath as a way to consolidate their learning.

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Math Warm Up Game

Here’s a super short post about a quick little maths game. I like it because it gets kids moving around, while practicing basic math facts!
I find it works best for years 1-3 but I’ve even played it with some year 6’s who thought it was a bit of fun! I guess it depends on the class you have!

Here’s how you play:
– Have students move around/dance to music.
– When the music stops, call out a question (like 3 + 4 or 10 – 5).
– Students need to work out the answer & then touch the ground with that many body parts (e.g. 3 + 4 = 7… Place down 2 feet & 5 fingers or 2 feet, 1 elbow & 4 fingers)
– Have students call out the answer & then start the music again for the next round.

See what happens when you say 5 – 5 or 0 + 0!!!


What is the Question?

This is an activity that is usually used in maths but I think it also works really well as a revision tool!

Simply write an answer on the board, students then write questions to match the answer on post it notes. They can read through their notes or handouts to help them. They can stick their questions around the board.

Alternatively, they can write the answer in their books & list questions under or around it.

You can use this activity to:
– review a person, place or thing
– look at a character or setting of a book the class has read
– practice number sense (write a number as the answer & students need to write equations to equal that number.)

I love how versatile & easy to set up this activity is! Hope you find it useful too!


Popcorn Maths

We’re a little popcorn mad at the moment. My almost 3 year old has recently discovered the fun of making & eating popcorn from our air popper. A lot safer (but probably not as exciting) as the pot & oil my dad used to use! As kids, we used to stand around the stove, trying to catch the pieces flying out of the pot!

When I saw this writing prompt idea from ‘Apples to Appliqué’ on Pinterest, the red & white popcorn box immediately caught my eye!

I thought it would make a fun maths activity.

I had some popcorn boxes that I had bought from Woolworths. I found them near the party supplies, in case you were interested!

I filled the popcorn boxes with crumpled up pieces of yellow and white paper. I didn’t bother to make popcorn shapes but that would be cute if you had the time!

On the white paper (plain popcorn) I wrote numbers, on the yellow (buttered popcorn) I wrote math symbols (+ – x ). I didn’t include the division symbol because it would’ve made the activity too complicated! Depending on your class year level, you can choose larger or smaller numbers, and the types of symbols, to suit the students’ abilities.

You could also enlist the help of the students to write on the pieces of paper. That would make it a lot easier to create enough boxes for each group or pair. Store the popcorn pieces on ziplock bags for later use.

Students can then choose 2 pieces of white popcorn and 1 piece of yellow. They write the equation and answer in their books. Some students may only do 5 questions in the set time, others may complete 20!


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Spring Forward Craft

Daylight savings kicked in for most Australian states this past weekend. I grew up in Western Australia, a state that doesn’t have daylight savings. Since moving to Adelaide I would find myself confused every time it came around. Do I add or take away an hour?

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE it! It’s nice not to be woken up at 5am by the sun blazing through the windows.

Someone, very helpfully, told me the trick to remember which way the clocks go – “Spring forward, Fall back”. Since then I’ve managed not to get the clock change wrong. (Although it sometimes still takes a month or so until I change my car clock over!)

To help kids remember which way the clocks change, I came up with this super simple clock craft.

Students draw a clock face on the inner part of a paper plate. I prefer students draw their own, rather than use a photocopied clock face, to see if they know the correct position of the numbers.

They can then make a spring by wrapping a pipe cleaner around their finger. This can be set aside, ready for the next step.

They will then cut out the clock hands from coloured card. Instead of attaching the hands with a brass fastener or brad, they can trim the fuzzy material from the bottom of the pipe cleaner and use that to pierce through the clock hands and the paper plate.

Around the rim of the plate, students can write the heading ‘Spring Forward’ & then decorate with flowers, butterflies or any other Spring related pictures.

Now time to go and enjoy this extra bit of sunshine in our evening!

Daylight savings explained:


Fraction Art

Students create a colourful art piece while learning about shape, symmetry & fractions!

1. Trace around a circle shape onto coloured paper. I used a plastic lid. If you don’t have coloured paper, students can colour the circles in before they cut them out.

2. Cut the circles out.

3. Fold the circles into halves, quarters & eighths.


4. Cut along the fold lines to create fraction pieces.

5. Give students time to investigate & explore the fraction pieces. Discuss equivalent fractions (how many eighths fit into a half?) & practice adding & subtracting fractions.


6. When students are finished exploring, have them create a symmetrical picture using their fractions pieces. They don’t need to use all of their pieces! They can glue their picture onto white or black paper/card.

These make a fantastic bulletin board display!


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Place Value Envelopes – What’s My Number?

I just made these cards very simply by cutting up coloured paper, hand writing the numbers on them & then popped them into numbered envelopes. Students choose an envelope, sort & place the cards into the correct columns, and then practice writing & saying the large numbers.

To make a more durable version, create the cards on the computer, print them on coloured paper and then laminate.



Beat the Teacher – A Place Value Game


Students draw up a playing grid like the one pictured. You can get them to draw up more or less columns, depending on how big of a number you would like them to practice.

The teacher takes out all of the picture cards from a deck of cards & then shuffles the remaining cards.

The teacher then flips over one card at a time & calls it out. If the teacher flips a 10 that will be called out as a ‘0’.

Students write the number called out in one of the columns. They need to decide where the best place it should go. The teacher will also do the same but without letting the students see.

The teacher will continue drawing cards until all of the columns are filled out. The students and the teacher call out their final number.

If the student has a higher number than the teacher they receive 5 points. If it is the same, 3 points. If it is less, 0 points.
If the teacher gets a higher number than all of the students then they receive 20 points!

You can play as many rounds as you would like.


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$100 Word Challenge!


This is a simple concept, yet the kids love it! Students who are usually reluctant to do sums, are eager to work out how much their names add up to. Anyone that is lucky enough to have a ‘x, y or z’ in their name gets very excited!
Discuss with the class if the length of their name always determines the amount it is worth. Is a short name always worth less? Is a longer name worth more?
Challenge the students to see if they can come up with a word that has a value of exactly $100.

Here are a few $100 words: elephants, straws, cousins, stress, explains, writing, squares

Can you find more?

Other ideas:
– Add up their spelling words to see which is the most/least expensive.
– Who can find the most expensive word in the dictionary?
– Using an atlas, find the most/least expensive country.