I am hoping that others can share some of their "tricks" for filling 3-5 minutes--times when maybe we are waiting in the hall, or if we only have a couple of minutes before lunch, and not enough time to really start anything new, etc. I usually review math facts or play a quick game of "Around the World," and we also play the "Telephone" game. I would like to have more tricks up my sleeve....any veteran teachers who can give more suggestions? I kind of like the idea of "20 questions," too...but haven't tried that with my group, yet. Anything you can provide would be GREAT. THANKS!

I use 20 questions, but the first few times I do it, I have them think of the object and I ask the questions in order to model the procedure.

Another filler is "Guess My Number." I select a number and call on students to guess what it is. At their response, I will say either "my number is greater than xxx" or "my number is less than xxx." We talk about how to narrow down the choices by guessing a number halfway between the high point and the low point.

If we are lined up for something but it is a bit too early to leave--and the natives are getting restless--I have them close their eyes and estimate how long 30 seconds is. Then I say "go" and they raise their hands when they think 30 seconds is up. I say "stop" at the 30-second mark. Kills a minute--and it is amazing how many hands go up after about 10 seconds. They do get better at it, though.

In the beginning of the year, I will say "I'm thinking of two numbers....their sum is 9 and the difference between the larger number and the smaller number is 3. What are my two numbers?" (In this case it would be 6 + 3 = 9; 6 - 3 = 3. )

Later, when they have more multiplication and division facts, I will say all for operations and add "the product is 18, and the quotient is 2" for the above example.

Another thing I do is ask kids to mentally round a number between 1 and 1,000 to the nearest 10 or nearest 100.

I've had great results with both! Hope this is another helpful idea.

I find there is never enough time to read- so if there is ever a spare minute, I remind the students to pull out the book from their desk. If I have a few more minutes, I have the class clean and organize their desks.
There always seems to be a few that need to finish up things, so they can use this extra time while the others read or tidy.

Thanks for the extra ideas! I used the "w0 questions" the other day, and they loved it. I would not have thought to do rounding, but that would be perfect for what we are doing right now. So many other good tips, too, thanks!

My students love to play the Quiet Game. While it's not reviewing academics, it sure it nice and quiet.

To play it, one student starts by getting up and tapping any other student on the shoulder. That student gets up and the first one sits down in their spot with their head down (so everyone knows they've gone). It continues until the last student is tapped. I time it and they try to see if they can beat their time the next time we play it. If anyone talks, you start over.