# 5-Minute Fillers: Math, Puzzles, and More

Volume 23

Spelling by the Numbers
Builds spelling, research, and sequencing skills

Assign each letter a different value, a number from 1 to 26. Write the week's spelling or vocabulary words in number form on the board, an overhead, or work sheets to distribute. For example, C=17, A=22, and T=4, so cat would appear as 17, 22, 4. Set a time limit. See how many words students can figure out before the time is up. Give a small prize to the first person who spells all words correctly.

 Pose the following question to students to start a lively discussion, or use is as a prompt for a quick journal-writing activity: What if your best friend totally forgot to do his or her homework and asked to copy yours? What would you do? What would you say?

Teacher Wins

Builds listening skills

Anagram Puzzles

Anagrams are a terrific tool for stimulating students to think critically. Write the four phrases below on a board or chart. The letters in each phrase can be rearranged to spell a word. The words all have something in common. Challenge students to figure out the four words and what the words have in common.

Adapt the activity for younger students: To make the activity easier, tell students what the words have in common or arrange students in pairs to solve the anagram puzzles.
• A CAT RAT INC
• MARTIAN CHORE
• ASIA ULTRA
• OMAHA CURES IT

Answers: Antarctica, North America, Australia, and South America are all continents

Article by Gary Hopkins
Education World®

01/23/2004