Relief Teaching Ideas

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


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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Recycling Bread Tags

We’ve been collecting bread tags for colour sorting & craft (we’re big on recycling/reusing.) It didn’t take long to build up quite a collection!

My little boy loves sorting through them, lining them up & putting them into little containers, shaking them up!

As we were playing with them on the weekend, I started thinking of other ways to use them, especially in the classroom…


– Clip onto popsticks for sight word or place value practice
– Thread onto pipe cleaners to make a counting bracelet
– Create funny faces or creatures

I just used permanent markers to write on the tags. Super simple & easy to do!

Does anyone else have an interesting way to reuse bread tags?

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Trash Can Numbers

trashcan numbers

This is a quick game that highlights the importance of place value. Great to play at the beginning or end of a lesson.

Only equipment needed is one die for the teacher and paper & pencils for students. You can use a 6-10 sided die.

1. Students draw dashes (you choose how big the number will be) & two trash cans.

2. Teacher rolls a die & calls out roll.

3. Students need to decide where to place that number – either on a dash or in a trash can, if they don’t wish to use that number. They can’t erase a number once it is written.

4. When all the spaces are filled the winner is whoever has the highest number*.

*You can change this to whoever has the lowest number for an added challenge!

For more quick classroom games that require little to no resources: