Bag of Tricks

Do you have a bag of tricks? You know what I’m talking about, right? It’s a mental list of quick activities you can use to get students on track, transition them to a new activity, get their attention, or fill up unexpected time. A bag of tricks is a helpful and necessary classroom management tool–and one that will save you stress plus reinforce skills! Here are a few quick activities to refresh your bag of tricks for the upcoming school year. 🙂

Pop the Balloon!

Draw balloons on a chalkboard and fill each one with a vocabulary word or math fact. Ask for a volunteer to read a word or solve a fact. If the student gives the correct response, the other students “pop” the balloon by clapping once in unison as you erase it from the board. If the student gives an incorrect response, have him ask a classmate for help. When they determine the correct answer, have students “pop” the balloon.

Cross Out

Have each student write 15 numbers between 1 and 50 on a sheet of paper. When students finish their lists, call out numbers between 1 and 50 at random. Students cross out any numbers on their lists that are called. The first child to mark out all the numbers on his paper is the winner. 

Who’s the Leader?

Have children form a circle. Choose one person to be IT and have her leave the room. Choose a LEADER from the remaining students. Prompt IT to come back to the room and stand in the middle of the circle. To play, the LEADER makes a subtle movement, such as nodding his head or wiggling his fingers, and his classmates quickly copy him. Have the LEADER and classmates continue in the same way with different movements until you say stop. Then have IT try to guess the identity of the leader. If IT is not successful after three guesses, have the LEADER identify himself. Then choose a new IT and LEADER. 

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