Games & Activities for Casual Teachers
Here’s a few games and activities to use on casual teaching days that are relevant, curriculum-oriented and fun.
Sparkle: Using the class spelling list, choose one work to spell. Students stand in a circle and one person at a time says each letter of the word. Any incorrect letters said, means sitting down. Once the word is spelled correctly, the next person says ‘sparkle’ and sits down. The last person standing wins.
Around the World Times Tables: The object of the game is to practice instant recall of target multiplication facts.
Students form a circle. Once student is ‘in’, standing inside the circle facing another student. Teacher calls out a timetables question and the first of the 2 students to answer gets to move on to the next person in the circle. Repeat process with new questions as the students in the middle go ‘around the world’. One person may be in for a while – give them a reward and let someone else have a turn.
I Have…, Who Has…? (timetables):
There are many printable resources out there for this game. Every student has a pre-printed card with an answer and a new multiplication question on it. Each student in the class has a card, including one ‘starter card’. The first person calls out whatever is written on their card: “Who has 6×6?” (for example), then whoever has the answer to that sum calls out their card, eg. “I have 36. Who has 6×3?”
See this link for paid printable resources: www.teachthis.com.au
Target Circles: Find out what the teacher has been targeting in the Number strand and use Target Circles to practice. These can be used for any operation. Just select the target number and operation (eg. adding to 20, or 3 times tables) and write that in the center circle, then add some numbers into the middle circle, and students work out the answer and place it in the outer circle.
Drawing. Kids love to draw. You may give an assigned activity such as drawing a character from a book, but free drawing time is a much-sought-after activity with my kids. It gives them a chance to show off their creativity to their friends and to pursue their own interests.
Eggs in the Nest: All you need is 3-4 hoops and lots of beanbags (or similar).
Place 4 hoops in a large square and divide the beanbags evenly into each hoop (approx 10 each). Divide teams evenly, lined up behind each hoop. The idea is to steal as many ‘eggs’ (beanbags) from other ‘nests’ (hoops) as possible in a given timeframe to fill your own nest. Once the start whistle is blown, one person at a time can run to any other nest and steal one egg and place (not throw) it in their own nest. They tag the next person in their team and repeat until whistle is blown to indicate finish time. The winning team is the one with the most eggs.
**Note** This game is great when following “The Emu Egg” by Sharon Thorpe and David Leffler, from the Indij Readers series.
Continuous Cricket: This is a great one for the older students. Here’s a link to the way I played it at school as a kid: www.ausport.gov.au
Here’s how it’s played at my current school:
One team bats (stars) and one team bowls (circles). Bowlers (B) aim to get batters out by bowling underarm at the inner wickets (w). The batter must hit the ball and run to any outer wicket and back before a Fielder or Bowler strikes the inner wicket. If a batter hits, runs and returns before the inner wicket is struck, then they go on to have a maximum of 3 turns before conceding to the next batter. A batter is out if the inner wicket is struck on bowling, or if the fielding team strikes the inner wicket before batter completes their run. If a batter is successful, then any bowler may quickly bowl again. There is no stopping to wait (ie, continuous).