Relief Teaching Ideas

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

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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….


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

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Multiplication Houses


This Math Art activity is a creative way to help students practice their multiplication facts.

Students draw their house, cut out the windows & then glue onto another piece of paper. The answers are then written under the window flaps.

I used A4 paper for this example because that’s usually more readily available for a relief teacher. They are sturdier & look even better when made with A3 card!

To cut out the windows I slightly fold the paper, cut a small slit, unfold and then continue to cut the opening. Younger grades (years 3/4) may need your help with cutting the slits for the windows. There may be a few capable students who can also help their classmates out with this step.

Alternatively, and an easier option, is to cut out window shapes from another piece of paper and simply glue or tape the windows to the houses, so that they can still be lifted up to reveal the answers underneath.

After they finish making their houses, students can turn them into a game board!

– Place counters on each window.
– Students take turns choosing a multiplication question to answer.
– They can self check the answer by lifting the flap.
– If they are correct they can keep the counter. If not, they need to return the counter to the window & the next player takes a turn.

This idea is from a book I bought awhile ago called MathArt by Carolyn Ford Brunetto. It has so many great creative learning activities that link math with art.



Area Dice Game


A game for 2 or 3 players.
Each player chooses a colour pencil or texta they will use in the game.
Players take turns rolling the dice, using the numbers that they rolled to draw the perimeter of a rectangle or square & writing the area in the middle of the shape.
Game ends when players run out of room to draw.
Winner is the player who has used the largest area/most squares.

This game is an old favourite. I used to play it when I was at school!