Relief Teaching Ideas

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

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STOP – Class Noise Warning System

When children are working & they don’t have to be silent but you don’t want the noise levels to get too loud try this tip.
Write STOP on the board in large letters.
Every time the noise levels get too loud, wipe one of the letters off. Once all the letters are rubbed off the class has to work silently!

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Book Character Dress Up Ideas

Book Week Dress Up Day will be here before you know it!
This post will hopefully give you a few ideas if you’re looking for inspiration. If you’re a relief teacher you never know…you may be called in to work that day!

Some schools are a little lenient in what constitutes as a book character. However, for the schools that require a book to go along with the costume, I’ve included the books that match the costume. For some, like the animal masks, there are heaps of options! I’ve only listed one per link so you can just get an idea.

A lot of the links show children’s costume ideas. These can be easily adapted to suit an adult.
This year’s Book Week theme is “Reading Across the Universe.” I thought this very simple jet pack was super clever and would suit the theme perfectly!


Monster Mask
‘Where the Wild Things Are’ by Maurice Sendak


Animal Masks
Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andrea


Superhero Masks
Superhero: Terror in Tights by Melvin Beederman


Spider Costume
Charlotte’s Web by EB White


Old Man from Up!
Up! Little Golden Book version


The Paperbag Princess
The Paperbag Princess by Robert Munsch


The Crayon Box That Talked by Shane Derolf
The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt


Thing 1 & Thing 2
The Cat and the Hat by Dr Seuss


The BFG by Roald Dahl
BFG ears – wear with a white shirt, vest & pants.

Click to access PEACH_11_BFG2_16_17_web.pdf


Mr Men Series
Mr Bump:
Mr Strong:


Robot Zot! By Jon Scieszka!/entry/how-to-make-a-diy-cardboard-box-robot-halloween-costume,519bea0eda27f5d9d0cb9b6c/media/33,robots


& finally….the Oompa Loompa costume I wore a few years ago (a pregnant Oompa Loompa!) All three grade 3 teachers dressed up as Oompa Loompas from Roald Dahl’s ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’. It’s fun to have a year level theme!

– I bought the green wig from spotlight & used an orangey blush & white eyeliner on my face.
– We rolled the wigs into shape & used a lot of hairspray & pins to keep in place!
– I dyed a cheap white skivvy brown and wore it with white long shorts, tucked into the long striped socks.
– The white gloves were cheap dusting gloves found in the cleaning aisle of the supermarket.
– The straps were made from wide ribbon & brown felt cut into circles.
– I attached the straps to the shorts with safety pins.
– I used double sided tape to attach the green pom poms to my shoes.

Hope this list has helped to inspire you. Good luck & have some fun with it! 🙂

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Mr Potato Head Good Behaviour Reward


Similar to the Jigsaw Puzzle idea, students work as a class to earn parts for Mr Potato Head. When he is complete they earn a predetermined class reward like an early recess or pack up early for a game.

Here’s where I found this great idea:

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Class Good Behaviour Incentive – Complete the Jigsaw


The class earns pieces to the puzzle when they are all working well. When the puzzle is complete they can have a predetermined reward like packing up early for a fitness game.
A classroom teacher could choose a larger puzzle & a bigger class reward like an end of term movie or class party.

*Attach magnetic strip to the back of puzzle pieces or use blu-tak so it can easily be put up on the whiteboard.

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Student Notebook Organization


Great Idea!
Glue envelopes in the back of students’ books for them to put small pieces/paper cut outs they are working on but are not ready to glue in.
Ok, so this isn’t very useful for a relief teacher but when I saw this picture on Facebook I needed to share it! Something so simple but would save so much time & lost pieces of paper! Why didn’t I think of this when I was a classroom teacher??

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Attention Grabbers

It’s always a good idea to have something that the students can quickly learn, to grab their attention. There are many different attention grabbers out there (clapping, bells, sayings).
Whatever you use, try to be consistent so you don’t confuse the students!

Some of my favorites include:

Teacher says / Students say

Macaroni Cheese / Everybody Freeze
Pop! / Corn!
 Class (in a funny voice) / yes (said in same funny voice)
Hands on top / That means stop (hands are on head)

What do you like to use?

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How to Make a Mini Booklet

senses booklet

How to make a quick and easy 8 page booklet with only one piece of paper:
These booklets are so versatile! You could use them to retell a story, recount an event, write out number facts, draw & label items for science, write out interesting facts about themselves or a partner they’ve interviewed, or anything else you can think of!


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Leaving Feedback for Class Teacher

It’s really important to leave feedback for the classroom teacher. This can sometimes be done verbally or by email, but usually it’s by leaving notes.
A friend of mine used to leave gorgeous cards on the teacher’s desk, filling them in with how the day went. It was so nice to return to my class to see the card sitting on my desk!
I thought I would share what I use. It’s not particularly fancy but it works for me!

Feedback Form
(updated version)
feedback pic

You can find more helpful tips & forms here: