Recess Ideas: Fun and Academic - Tuesday Teacher Idea

Sometimes it seems like inside recess are two of the most dreaded words a teacher can hear.  It seems inside recess days occur on the days when your students need to go outside and expend some energy the most.

Just like you make emergency sub plans, I highly recommend you make a menu of options for inside recess now so when it happens it won't be as stressful. Don't forget to put a copy of it with your emergency sub plans.

My students always enjoy having flashcard races when it is inside recess.  You can organize this different ways. 

Around the World:
The object of around the world, is for one student to compete one-on-one with classmates answering questions on flashcards.  The student is trying to answer the question before his/her classmates and go completely through all the classmates or around the world without stopping.  

One student stands next to another student's desk.  I hold up a flashcard.  Only the person standing and the person who sitting at the desk can answer.  The first person wins.  If the person sitting at the desk answers correctly first, that person stands next to the desk after his/hers and the person who didn't answer correctly sits in the winner's desk.

This is a good game for inside recess when your class is having a calm day.

When my students are needing to wiggle more, I divide my class into two groups.  If they are really active I divide them into three groups.  I have them stand in teams like a relay race.  The people at the front of the line are the ones who can answer the question on the flashcard.  One of my students is a scorekeeper for this game.

These flashcard games are a great way to work on fluency skills.  Your students will strengthen their automaticity of letter identification, letter sounds, sight words, or math facts.  

When I was a little girl, I spent almost every Friday night at my grandparents' house.  My Grandma loved to sew.  In fact, she made most of my clothes until I went to junior high.  I spent many hours looking at tins of buttons, spools of thread, and patterns.  One of the games that I played with Grandma while she sewed was "hide the thimble".  Have you heard of that game?  It may have been a game that Grandma invented to entertain me.  It is also one that you can use for inside recess.  It has an added bonus of teaching your students prepositions.  

I would recommend playing this whole group the first time.  After your students learn how to do it, you can divide your class into small groups.  You will need as many thimbles as the number of groups.  

Before playing this, you will want to introduce prepositions to your class.  I have a free packet that has a word bank that would be helpful to use as a reference for this.

Click HERE to download this for free.

Have your students put their heads down and close their eyes.  While they are doing this, you will hide the thimble somewhere in the classroom.  After you finish hiding the thimble, let your students put their heads up and open their eyes.  Now choose one row or one team at a time to get up and walk around the room to look for the thimble.  Set a timer or watch the clock.  Give them a short amount of time.  At the end of the time, tell the row or team that they may (as a team) ask you 3 things about where the thimble is hidden.  Their questions should include a preposition.  Example:
  1. Is the thimble near the sink?  
  2. Is the thimble beside a shelf?
  3. Is the thimble under a book?
You can answer with yes or no.  Or if you think your students need help, you can give clues like, no but you are getting warmer, you are cold or your are in the hot zone. That's when they get really excited!

The team that figures out where the thimble is hidden gets to hide it the next time.  They love to be in charge and answer the questions.

This is a fun game that gets your students up and moving.  They are working together and strategizing.  You'll be amazed to see that when one group doesn't get it and the next group doesn't get it, the first group is already planning what their next questions for you are going to be.

Your next preposition lesson will be a snap because your students will remember the hide the thimble game!

Looking for more tips?  Check out my Morning Messages Pinterest board.  Click on the picture below.

Fern has a few tips to share with you, too.  Be sure to hop over to her blog!

Each week, Fern and I will share a teacher tip. We love to read teacher blogs and the latest teacher idea books and hope you do, too!  Stop by Fern's blog and my blog each week for our latest tips.  We hope you will share your ideas, too.  

Each week we will choose one person who shared a tip on our blog who will get a $10 shopping trip.  We will announce the winner on the following Tuesday's post.  

Do you have a tip to share?  Be sure to include your email so I can contact you if you're the winner of the $10 shopping trip. You must leave your email address in order to win.

Looking for more ideas?  Click on the pictures below.

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