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5-Minute Fillers: Rhyming, Math, and More

Volume 37

Math Facts Race
Builds math skills while reinforcing math facts

Create on the board or on chart paper two grids numbered across 1 to 9 and down 1 to 9. Divide the class into two teams. Decide whether the students will practice addition, subtraction, or multiplication facts in this game of speed. When the chart is set, say "Go!" The first person on each team races to the board and fills in any square on the math facts grid. For example, if you are using the game to reinforce addition facts, the student will write the number 6 in the square that meets where the 4 column and the 2 row meet. If any student on either team sees a mistake made by a teammate during the game, he or she can use his/her turn to correct that error. The first team to finish is the winning team if they have every correct answer on their chart.

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 go see any performer in concert? Who would you choose to see? Why did you choose that particular performer?
[Note: In order to make students think more deeply about this question, you might eliminate from consideration the current hottest group or performer.]

Rhyme Mime
Builds rhyming skills

Invite two students to come to front of the room. Provide each student with one of a pair of rhyming words. Ask one student to act out his or her word until someone guesses the word. Have the second student act out the second word, which rhymes with the first word. Allow the students who guessed each word to act out the next set of words.

Area Code Math
Builds math computation and geography skills

Print out the U.S. Telephone Area Code Map and photocopy it onto a transparency. Project the map on a wall or screen. Then pose questions such as What is the total of the area codes for Minneapolis? (612 + 763 + 952 = 2327) and What is the difference between the area codes in North Dakota and South Dakota? (701 - 605 = 96) Present three or four questions and see how many students do the math correctly.

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.

Answers: teacher, painter, accountant, and veterinarian are all jobs

Article by Gary Hopkins
Education World®
Copyright © 2004 Education World






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