10 Things to Do When You Only Have 5 Minutes Left in Class
You’ve completed your lessons for the day, but you still have some time left and a group of eager students with nothing productive to do. What can you do in this time to keep your class under control until the bell rings? Here is a list of 10 things to do when you only have 5 minutes left in class.
1. Journal writing:
Have your students write a journal entry to summarize the things that they learned in class that particular day. Make sure they date their entries so that they will have a record of when they wrote in their journals. This is a particular good exercise to help kids reinforce what they learned, as well as provide them with questions that they may have the following day on something they did not understand completely.
2. Conduct a poll:
With only 5 minutes left in class, this is the perfect time to have a poll for the students to vote on. You can use facts to get the kids feelings about whether or not they think something was fair, or list possible responses as ways that the kids would do something different than what actually happened. For instance, when talking about Abraham Lincoln and freeing the slaves, perhaps students would have handled the situation in a different way than Abe.
3. Writing notes:
Students are always writing notes in class, but usually get in trouble when they get caught. This time give permission for kids to write notes, but it has to be a fact that they learned in class and pass it to another student. This way the whole class is getting a fact that they might not have know about the lesson. Collect the notes as students leave the class.
4. The Toilet Paper Game:
This game is a fun way to review what kids learned in class. Because they pick up on the way the game is played very quickly, you will have to change it every time you use it. How it works is that you tell the students to pull off anywhere from 1 to 5 pieces of toilet paper from a roll, but do not tell them the rule of the game until everyone has done so. Then, use the amount of paper each student pulled off to give you that number of facts about the lesson they learned that particular day. For instance, if a student pulls of one piece of the roll, they have to give one fact about the lesson, and so on. The next time you will probably have lots of kids pull off one piece (because they think they are getting off easy), and you will need to switch the rules a bit to catch them off guard.
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