Purposeful Time Fillers

Purposeful Time Fillers

As a supply teacher, it is always handy to have a few extra activities up your sleeve just in case a lesson runs short. Having a few fun but purposeful activities which help consolidate children’s literacy or numeracy skills, or promote discussion, is a practical way to use additional time. If you ever find yourself with time to spare, here are some activities you could try with your classes.

Activities

The Money Word Challenge – Even though it is a word challenge, this activity will test your pupils’ maths skills as well as their spelling. On the whiteboard, quickly assign each letter of the alphabet a value; for example, A = £12, B = £3, C = £21 and so on. Set a few questions on the board such as, ‘What’s the most expensive word you can make?’, ‘Can you find a word that equals £42?’ and ‘How much is the word ‘league’ worth?’, and see what they come up with.  

Sell it – Choose an object from the class and in small groups children should come up with as many uses for that object as they can. The more absurd, the better! Children may want to note their ideas down on a scrap piece of paper or a mini-whiteboard before presenting them to the class. Encourage them to use descriptive and persuasive language; an example would be something like, “This fantastic, soft-haired paintbrush has over 100 uses! Not only can this be used for your artistic endeavours - but its durable bristles could also be used to dust your antique ornaments and are still gentle enough to brush your pet hamster.”

Who am I? – This common, family party game is a perfect class activity. It can be played in different ways depending on the subject or topic you’re teaching. Select a volunteer from the class to come to the front and be the guesser. Jot down something on a post-it note linked to your lesson, such as a number or a literary device, and stick it on the guesser’s forehead. It is then over to the rest of the class to lead them to guess “who they are” by answering their questions (yes or no answers only).

Online smartboard activities – no login required

Hit the Button

Children love to get competitive with this maths activity. Hit the Button offers timed maths games linked to times tables, number bonds, and square numbers. Depending on the classroom setup, children could come up to the smartboard and select the answers themselves, or divide the class in half and you select the answers while each team battles it out to hit as many correct answers as they can within the time limit.

Watch Newsround

This is a great activity for pupils across all key stages. Current issues are usually presented in a balanced way and is easy to digest for children and teenagers. The main broadcast lasts around 6-8 minutes and usually includes some interesting, light-hearted news towards the end. Allow some time afterwards for pupils to raise any questions and to discuss whichever topics pique their interest.

Arcademics

Aimed at primary school children, Arcademics hosts a range of maths games and useful spelling and grammar games. Just like with Hit the Button, these games are fun to play as a whole class and offer a selection of maths and literacy focuses.

 

  • Teaching with a stammer: How teaching has improved my fluency

    Managing a stammer as a teacher can be a challenge. Some days are better than others and you’re not always sure why. Over the past four years the challenges of teaching, and specifically the varied challenges supply teaching offers, have helped me to not only better manage my speech but have also improved my stammer overall. Having a stammer can be unpredictable – you may find yourself less fluent than usual for a myriad of reasons such as speaking in an unfamiliar setting, speaking to certain people you’re familiar/unfamiliar with, a particular combination of sounds in a word, talking over the phone or speaking in a certain language.

    Read more

  • Why Choose Supply Teaching?

    Venturing into the unknown is always a daunting experience, especially when faced with unfamiliar destinations and seas of new faces wondering who you are. Despite any reservations you might have, you will find that supply work provides a rich teaching experience and with every new assignment you will gain more confidence.

    Supply teaching has many benefits and really works around you! If you find that you’re concerned about budgeting or your CPD you can always look to the new features Airsupply are launching for financial management and to the OneStepCPD platform through their Twinkl partnership.

    You might be considering supply teaching for various reasons – perhaps you’d like a break from teaching full-time, you might be moving to a new town or maybe you are an NQT looking to gain a range of experience. Whatever your reasons may be, here is what supply teaching can offer you!

    Read more

  • Reflective Practice as a Supply Teacher

    During your time as a trainee or full-time teacher, you are constantly evaluating your own teaching practice through the exercise of formative assessment, conversations with your colleagues and class observations. Plunging into the world of supply teaching opens you up to a range of benefits but you may feel a little lost without the continuity of being in the same class day in and day out.

    You may begin to wonder, “How am I doing as a teacher?” or “Did I deliver that lesson well today?”. You could end up having a bit of a bad day and feeling like you have no one to reflect with or no clear steps to help improve your practice down the line. This may not apply to supply teachers in long-term placements but for those of you who have questioned how you’re getting on in day-to-day supply life, here are a couple of tips on how to continue being a reflective practitioner.

    Read more

  • Why your health and wellbeing matters

    Teaching is tough—we know that and you know that. It's both physically and mentally demanding. In a 2019 survey by the charity Education Support more than three-quarters of teachers described themselves as stressed. Excessive workload and working hours are continually cited by teachers as the main causes of workplace stress.

    Read more

  • Support through COVID-19

    During this time of uncertainty we’re all currently facing with the ongoing COVID-19 situation, we wanted to reach out to all our teachers.

    Read more