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5-Minute Fillers: Multiplication and More

Volume 25

Multiplication Bee
Builds multiplication math fact knowledge

Organize students in a circle, and name a number between 2 and 9. Choose a student to begin the game by saying the number 1. The next student says the number 2 and so on around the circle. Each time the number called out is a multiple of the number chosen, the student must raise his/her hand instead of calling out the number. If a student doesn't raise his/her hand at the right time or raises it at the wrong time, he or she is out. Continue until students reach the last multiple of the number times 9.

Seeing Spots
Builds critical thinking and observation skills

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 you could talk with the President of the United States? What would you talk about? Why would you choose to talk about those things?

For this activity you will need those colored dots (or any other kind of sticker) that can be purchased at office supply stores. You should have four or five different colored dots or different stickers. Place a dot or sticker on the forehead of each child; it is important that each child does not know what the dot/sticker looks like. When you give the signal, students move about the room connecting with their classmates who have matching dots or stickers. The catch: No talking allowed. All communication must be non-verbal!

Who's in Charge?
Builds observation skills

In this observation activity, one student is selected to leave the room. All the remaining students join in a circle. When the child is out of the room, another student is selected to be the leader. The leader starts an action (for example, slapping hands to thighs) and all the other students follow. The child who left the room is invited to return; his or her job is to determine who is the leader. The leader must change the action being performed at least once every 30 seconds or so, and the others watch discreetly -- trying not to give away who the leader is to the child who just re-entered -- and change their movement as soon as the leader changes his or hers. Other sample movements might include scratching the head, shrugging the shoulders, flapping arms like a bird, or any other action the leader might invent. How long does it take for the child who left the room to determine who is leading the action changes?

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 MALL

Answers: llama, kangaroo, hippopotamus, and rhinoceros are all mammals

Article by Gary Hopkins
Education World®
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