Relief Teaching Ideas

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


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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.

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Beat the Teacher – A Place Value Game

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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!

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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.


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Rotational Symmetry Names

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Rotational Symmetry – the shape or image can be rotated and it still looks the same.

In this activity students create a picture that has rotational symmetry, using their name as their starting point.
It is a great activity to add to your relief teacher folder because it does not require any photocopying. The only materials needed are white paper & textas or coloured pencils to decorate.

STEP ONE
Trim an A4 or A3 piece of paper to make a square. I folded one corner over to make a triangle & then trimmed off the extra bit on the end. When I opened up the triangle, a square was left.

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STEP TWO
Fold the piece of paper in half to make a rectangle.

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STEP THREE
Fold it in half again, to make a square.

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STEP FOUR
Fold over one corner to make a triangle.

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STEP FIVE
With lead pencil, write your name in block or bubble writing. When you are happy with it you can go over it with a black texta.

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STEP SIX
Unfold one of the triangles . Hold it up to the light or up on a window so you can see & trace the original name you drew. I drew my picture at night so I had to hold my paper up to a light. Very tricky! I used a pencil first, just in case i slipped!
Continue unfolding and tracing until you have completed all 8 triangles.
If you have miras available to use, that would make this step a lot easier! A Mira is a geometric tool that is reflective like a mirror but is also transparent, making it easy to see & copy down symmetrical pictures.

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STEP SEVEN
Add colour to your design. Make sure you colour each section of the triangles exactly the same!

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All done! These look fantastic displayed on a classroom wall or used as a cover picture for student workbooks.


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Egg Carton Shake Up!

Here’s a fun way for kids to practice their math facts & also reuse egg cartons!*

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-To prepare the egg carton, simply number the bottom of each space 1-12.
-Pop two counters into the egg carton.
-In pairs (or even groups of 3 or 4) students take turns shaking the egg carton.
– They then place the egg carton right side up & open it to see where the counters ended up.
– On a sheet of paper record the numbers the counters are on, multiplying them for their score.
– Add scores as they go.
– First player to 200 (or whatever number you set) is the winner!

*Remember to check for egg allergies in the class before using egg cartons.


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9 Times Table Trick

This is one of my favourite times table strategies to teach kids. They get so excited when they see how it works!

– Have your hands out in front of you.
– Mentally number them 1-10, from left to right.
– Whichever number you are multiplying 9 by, place that finger down.
Eg. For 3 x 9 put your left hand middle finger down.
– How many fingers are to the left of the finger you placed down? How many are to the right? Put those 2 numbers side by side & that’s your answer!
Eg. For 3 x 9, the left middle finger is down. There are 2 fingers to the left, 7 to the right. 3 x 9 = 27

I tried to take photos to demonstrate this but it was a bit tricky by myself! Instead I searched & found this great link & photo for you to check out….

http://www.cometogetherkids.com/2012/01/cool-9-times-tables-trick.html?m=1

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Hope this little trick helps your students learn their 9 times tables!


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Using Chatterboxes as a Revision Tool

I used to love making these as a kid! They have a few different names (cootie catcher, fortune teller) but I’ve always known them as chatterboxes.

They are a fun toy but can also be a great way for students to practice math facts, sight words, spelling & vocabulary, revise a unit of work, test their comprehension of a text or even provide a story starter.

I have a book of multiplication chatterboxes that are photocopiable. However, as a relief teacher, you don’t always have access to a photocopier. Instead it is easy enough for students to make their own. Plus, I think students are more likely to remember the facts they are practicing if they actually write them out themselves!

Here’s one I made to revise Australian capital cities:

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Charlotte’s Web:

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Times Table Facts:

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Just in case you can’t remember how to make them, here’s a quick tutorial:

1. Fold over the corner of a an A4 piece of paper to make a large triangle. Cut off the rectangle bit on the side & put into the scrap paper box.

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2. Open up the piece of paper & fold over the other corner to make a triangle. Open up again to reveal these creases.

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3. Fold each corner into the centre.

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4. Turn the paper over and then fold the corners into the centre again.

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5. Cut down the centre of each of the 4 triangle flaps, to create 8 smaller flaps.

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6. Flatten all the flaps down and fold the paper in half.

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7. Place your thumbs and forefingers in the four openings. Push open and then in towards the centre to manipulate into shape.

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8. Flatten again, to write out facts or questions.

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Done! And ready to play!

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For some more ideas & free printable chatterboxes you can also check out this fantastic page:
http://www.teachjunkie.com/holidays/winter/christmas/17-quick-cootie-catcher-printables-lesson-plans/