Here are FIVE of my favorite time filler activities.
1. This activity will increase your students’ vocabulary as well as fill time. Start by writing a word on the board that contains four letters. You can start with anything. Then, challenge your students to come up and change only one letter of the word to make a new word. If someone has an answer, have him come up and make the change. Then have another student come up and change the word again. See how many different combinations your students can come up with by changing one letter at a time with no word repeats. Also, give them the opportunity to ask for a definition of any of the words that they may not know throughout the activity.
2. I like to have a read aloud going at all times. I like for it to be a chapter book that some of my students may not have the ability to read on their own, but could comprehend if it is read to them. I allow the students to listen to the story and draw a picture of what is going on in the story. If the students draw each time they listen to the book then they have created their own story board and they can go back through the pictures to retell the story to you at a later time.
3. Vo-BACK-ulary: Divide your students into teams. The first person on the team sits in a chair backward (in a way so their back is not against the back of the chair). The person behind the student in the chair writes with his/her finger on the back of the person in the chair. When the student in the chair thinks they know what the word is that was written on their back they jump up out of their seat and race to the board to write the word on the board with a marker. The team must be able to give the definition of the word to get the point. The students take turns sitting in the chair and being "it."
4. BANG: A bucket is filled with cards. Some cards have your spelling words written on them and some cards have the word "BANG" written on them. Students sit in a circle. The first person draws a word out of the bucket, reads the word, hides the word, and then spells the word. If the student spells the word correctly he keeps it, if you not it goes back into the bucket. If a student draws "BANG" out of the bucket he must return the card to the bucket along with any cards they have accumulated during the game.
5. 1 thing I like/1 thing I would change: I pass out sticky notes or index cards to each student. Each student writes down on thing they like or have learned that day or that week and one thing they would have changed about that week. I think this activity gives your students a time to have their input into your classroom community and gives them a feeling of ownership.
Hope you can use some of these to fill-in some of that extra time! :)