Relief Teaching Ideas

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


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Spelling Tic Tac Toe

This is one of my favourite spelling activities. Most students already know how to play the traditional version of Tic Tac Toe so it’s an easy one to introduce to classes. They can play on paper or on mini whiteboards.
Students play in pairs and take turns writing the word that they need the most practice with, into a box on the grid. First to get 3 in a row wins that round.
Students can choose a different word to practice for each round. The student who wins the most rounds is the winner.

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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!!!


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Pac Man

This is a simple game to revise facts. It can be used for any subject & doesn’t require any equipment!

1. Students spread around the room.
2. Teacher calls out a question.
3. Students put their hands up if they know the answer.
4. The first hand up to get it right moves one step closer to the nearest person standing next to them (or they can move away from someone!)
The goal is to tap the others on the shoulder and get them out of the game.
5.Teacher continues to call out questions.
6. The last person standing wins.

Some ideas for this game:
– times tables
– math facts
– spelling
– vocabulary definitions
– geography questions
– foreign language practice (eg: say the word in English, who knows how to say it in Japanese?)
– revision of a health, science or social studies unit


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One Word

This is a great filler activity if you have a few minutes until the bell goes. It also helps students practice story telling, their oral language and logical thinking.

-Students sit in a circle or, if they’re at their desks, determine which order they’ll be going in.
– Each person says one word and the next person adds to it, and so on and so on, and it turns into a story.
– For example, Grace says “The,” Sam says “mouse,” and Tom says “tiptoed.”

It’s a simple concept but it requires that everyone pays attention, so that they follow the story, and don’t say a word that doesn’t fit in or make sense.
This game can go for as long or as short as you like! For an added challenge you can set a topic, setting, theme or genre. (Eg: A mystery, set at the zoo, involving monkeys.)
If it gets too silly you can start the game over.


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Word Race

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-Divide students into 3 or 4 teams (depending on how big your whiteboard is) & line them up in front of the white board.
-Write one word on the board for each team.
-One person from each team will go to the board to write a word that starts with the last letter of your word.
-The next person in their team then has to think of a word that starts with the last letter of the word their team member wrote.
-Students continue taking turns writing words on the board until you stop the game.
-You can stop when groups start running out of space to write or after a set amount of time.
-Add up each team’s points.
1-3 Letters = 1 point
4-5 Letters = 2 points
6+ Letters = 3 points
(Words that have been repeated or are incorrect do not count.)
-The team with the most points wins.


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I Spy With My Little Eye

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Perfect to play when the students have packed up & you still have 5 minutes until the end of the day.
Either put up on the Smartboard, Data Projector or print & enlarge onto two A3 pieces of paper.

This would also make a fantastic barrier game. Hand out the sheet to all students. Students pair up & put upright books in between them so they can’t see each others page. They then take turns calling out instructions for both of them to do – eg: “Colour the love heart yellow.” When time is up they can compare their pictures to see if they’re the same.

Link to the ‘Just Something I Made’ page & PDF:

http://justsomethingimade.com/wp-content/uploads/27117572-JSIM-I-Spy-Fun-sheet.pdf


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Spelling Baseball

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This is a great spelling revision game to play at the end of term. I like it because it allows for students to choose the level of word difficulty so that it’s not just the top spellers of the class that enjoy success.

Preparation:
– Write up spelling words, dividing them into 4 columns, according to their difficulty. The easiest words will be for “1st Base”, then 2nd, 3rd & finally the hardest extension words will be the “home run” words.

To play:
– Divide students into 2 teams. One will field first (sit at their desk listening for any mistakes). The other will bat first (line up at the front, taking turns spelling words).
-Decide where the bases will be around your room.
– The first batter tells the teacher what type of word they want (1st, 2nd, 3rd or home run).
– Teacher “pitches” the word by calling it out.
– Student either spells it out loud or writes it on a small whiteboard & holds it up to show the teacher and fielding team.
– If they get it correct they get to move to their nominated base.
If a fielder thinks they are incorrect they raise their hands to challenge it. If the fielder can correctly spell the word then the batter is out. If the fielder also spells the word incorrectly (drops the ball!) then the batter is safe.
If the batter has spelled the word incorrectly but no one challenges them, the teacher will announce the correct spelling & the batter will have to bat again (foul ball – 3 fouls & they’re out).
– As batters take turns spelling, the other players already on bases move around the bases, just like a real baseball game.
– Record how many runs the team makes. A run is when a batter goes around all bases & returns back to the home plate.
– 3 outs & it’s side away.

Team with the most runs wins!