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5-Minute Fillers: Math, Spelling, and More

Volume 38

Spelling Is a Hit!
Builds spelling skills

Before playing the game, you will need to have a flyswatter and you will need to create a game board. The game board can be drawn on a brightly colored shower curtain liner. Use a magic marker to print large and boldly the letters of the alphabet from A to Z. If your students are in the primary grades, write the letters in ABC order. If your students are older, mix up the letters of the alphabet. Put each students name on a piece of paper or a Popsicle stick and drop them in a container. Draw one name at a time, call out a spelling word; that person must grab the flyswatter and swat each letter on the shower curtain liner as he or she spells the word aloud.

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 were to get a tattoo that represented something special to you? What tattoo would you get? Why would you choose to get that tattoo?

Math on a Roll
Builds math facts skills

Assign an operation -- addition, subtraction, or multiplication -- to be performed in this game. Divie students into groups of three or four, and give each group a pair of dice. Player 1 rolls the dice and adds the two numbers that appear. Player 2 rolls the dice and adds the two numbers that appear. Players 3 and 4 (if included) roll the dice and record their results. The player with the highest score in the round earns a point. If two or more players roll the same high total, neither player earns a point. The game ends when time is up (the player with the most points wins) or when a player reaches a score of 10.

Aesop Ae-ctivity
Builds listening and main idea skills

Read aloud one of Aesop's Fables. When you finish reading, ask students to tell you what lesson the fable teaches. After students have shared their thoughts, read aloud the lesson from the fable. Did the students' lesson ideas match the lesson that appears at the end of the actual fable?

Picture puzzles such as the ones below are a terrific tool for stimulating students to think critically. Write or draw the following puzzles on a board or chart. Challenge students to study the puzzles to see if the words -- and the way they are written -- give them clues to the common expressions the puzzles illustrate.

snow wind rain




Answers: 1. Feeling under the weather; 2. touchdown; 3. apartment; 4. three blind mice (there are no "I's" in the mice)


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






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