Do you have a class set of clipboards? I do, and I love to put them to use OFTEN! I know that my kids need to be up and moving to stay engaged and focused. I love to allow them to do the same work that they would do in their seats by getting up and move around the room!
Last year, I bought these AMAZING StikkiClips! I have them hanging around my room for spur of the moment use! They are cheap and will stick nearly anywhere. They are an excellent tool to have when looking for around the room activities. If you’re interested, you can find them on Amazon!
I love to hang task cards around the room. In previous years, I loved to play Scoot. But this year, I have 32 students, and since most sets of task cards have 24-28 cards, Scoot just doesn’t work. I have grown to love placing them around the room for my students to solve.
I tell them that they have to be perfectly silent unless they are asking me a question. They don’t want to share where the cards are hidden or what the answers are. The first person to complete all of the questions correctly wins a small prize! I typically give out Dojo Dollars, which we use in our classroom economy.
Make Your Own Question
First off, I have to brag on Not So Wimpy Teacher’s Vocabulary Units! I use the fifth-grade version to learn and practice five new words per week. The words are familiar, yet still new to them. For example, one of our most recent words was perspective. Many of my kids had heard the word, but not many could actually define it, tell what it meant in their own words, or use it in a sentence.
On Thursdays, our weekly routine is to create a multiple choice question using one of the five words from that week. After they finish writing their own question, I have them hang them around the room. I give my students TEN minutes and ask them to answer TWENTY questions! They get to choose which questions they like. After all, not all of kids have handwriting that is legible to their peers or are able to write perfect questions!
I have a FREEBIE that includes the recording sheet and the sentence stems that I have them use while creating their own questions. I have them use their mailbox number to represent their question number, which they write in the upper left-hand corner.
Math Races & Scavenger Hunts
I have two themes, but the idea and the rules are exactly the same! I love to have Math Races or Scavenger Hunts around the room with my students. These are such a fun, self-checking way to allow students to practice basic math skills.
Here’s how it works.
Show your class the “start” card. It has a problem on it for students to solve. I usually use my document camera or write the problem on the board.
After they solve that problem, they look for the answer on the cards around the room. When they find the correct card, they solve that problem.
And, look for the answer around the room.
They continue working out the problems and finding the answers until they reach a card that says “THE END!”
I shuffle the cards up really well to ensure that they can’t simply walk around the room and solve them in order. I want them to think about their answers, know that they are correct, and move around the room. Many of them also test out their memory skills as they remember seeing a particular answer from an earlier stroll throughout the room! It is such a fun way to “race” through math!