What are your favourite time-filler activities? ⏰

No matter how carefully I plan the activities for the lesson, sometimes I find myself with an extra 5-10 minutes at the end. :woman_shrugging:

I mostly tutor GCSE and A-level students so the weekly lessons are pretty similar in their structure. My typical go-to activities are BBC Bitesize tests, pre-made Quizizz, Kahoot, and Quizlet flashcards but I would love to introduce something different and a little bit more fun like a game.

What do you do with that extra time?

I’m sure you guys have some fun activities up your sleeve that you love using with your students :smiley:

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Scattergories is my all-time favourite…my students love it and it gets their brains working. Do you know how to play it?

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I love Scattergories but somehow I’ve never thought of playing it with my students before :joy:

Thank you so much @katywilson6 !

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My pleasure - hope they love it as much as mine do!

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Baamboozle is a great online game which you can play to reinforce or extend.
It’s totally free to join and there are lots of games which might be useful. Failing that, you can actually create your own.

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Thanks @TeacherLette! Baamboozle is totally new to me and it looks super fun! At first I thought it’s just for Primary but they have many games for older students too so I’m definitely going to try this with my GCSE students :smiley:

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Games that I typically use in a language learning classroom are “guess who”, “guess where”, which explore the description of people and places and may work in very different levels; and I also ask extra questions on the topic we set for the lesson.

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Hi - if we finish early (and I try not to) I see this as an opportunity to find out more about the student. How is the workload during lockdown, what is working for them, what is not? Obviously nothing private but we teach people not subjects. As a history teacher its easy to find a film or book that relates to the topic. Ironically just done this with a long term A level student - did a lesson on reconstruction of the South after the American Civil War. Tom Hanks new film on Netflix ‘News of the World’ does this very topic - the American south after 1865 and attitudes of Texans under republican military rule - very nerdy example but this approach can be really useful for inspiring students. Student said ‘I am watching that tonight!’

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I review learning / plenary style and maybe focus on 2 stars and a wish which woks well in languages. Ii will try and draw out from student what they have felt they improved during lesson so it remains positive experience for them.

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Mine all love memory games . From as many versions as you can think of for “I went on holiday and I packed…” to word tennis (You bat a letter backwards and forwards until some one can’t think of a word and “drops the ball”. Older students like to set themselves a letter not to get to by the end of the lesson).
Old classics like hangman and boggle are still popular especially if the students are in charge.
My youngest students love counting songs and action songs.
Any age like an interactive story. The older ones like a kind of “Who’s line is it any way?” impro with sound effects. Luke Skywalker, a banana and a ball pool was hilarious.
Basically anything lively fun and leaving them going “No we’ve not finished!”

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Like everyone else, I tend to play games linked to the topic we have covered, or if that isn’t always possible, we have a discussion about what we have learnt or watch a video to learn more about the topic (if we did a comprehension about a festival for example, we would watch a video of this on YouTube to see it in context)! Depending on the age, I have such a wide variety of games I use with them! Usually if it’s maths, hit the button is a winner!

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Any recommendations on time fillers on games when tutoring maths?

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I play Bird Tree Fish vocabulary/ general knowledge game. Similar to Bus stop.

I also read stories to all my students, it’s important they hear an expert story teller. Normally I would be getting them to read to me but none of my students have books, and I can’t do face to face just now!

I sometimes fill in with dictionary work, or exit questions.

Most of my sessions I have planned too much anyway!

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Hi Kitty I’ll have to look that game up !
Just wanted to say that I love to read to my students too. I use Oxford Owl which is free. It enables you to read a selection of Oxford Reading Tree books online. I also like to use Kindle for reading with my older students.

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Blockbusters , battleships or noughts and crosses are always good for me, because this is also a peanary.

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Hi
I ended up playing noughts and crosses with a yr 2 today and discussing sequence and patterns!

Of course it depends on topic and age but as I do a lot of primary there are some maths you can do in a more hands on way such getting a metal tape measure and measuring kitchen units doors etc, she loved it!

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Some suggestions that I use with older students: if we just have finished a question and there’s no time to start another, I’ll ask the student to ‘explain it back’, so go through the question and explain to me the reasoning and method. I think this really helps to solidify understanding.

Another method I use is to ask questions that build on what we saw already. For example, if we find a missing angle, can you find the other angles/lengths in the shape? What other applications can you think of for this formula? Thinking about the proof and application of formulas can also be a good way to fill time productively, and also give some examples of real-life applications.

Scattergories has been mentioned which I’ve found is a great starter activity particularly to support youngsters (primary school age) and their grammar. Interspersing categories like ‘common nouns’ and ‘prepositions’ works well alongside categories like ‘sport’ ‘music artist’ and ‘country’.

Generally though I always try and over-plan each session. So if a session is 60 minutes long I aim to plan and resource 70-80 mins worth of material just in case I manage to get through the material with the learner quicker than expected. Anything not covered in that lesson can always be saved over to the following session

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