Tips and Tricks

Banish Busywork: 3 Fun Alternatives

Make the most of free time in class with these fun and engaging activities.

Let’s face it: busywork is a drag. Both students and teachers can agree it is a pretty uninspiring way to learn. So, what’s a teacher to do with that awkward 10 minutes at the end of class? We did a little digging online, and found several alternative activities that are both entertaining and educational. Here are three of our favorite ideas:

  1. Get moving
    Leading a short exercise or stretching session can help students get their wiggles out and de-stress. Try teaching your students a few simple yoga poses; our post on classroom yoga  (GEI article: Yoga in the Classroom)includes some great tips and resources. Another wonderful online resource, GoNoodle, offers free streaming videos with activities that include dancing, running, jumping, stretching, and deep breathing.
  2. Play a game
    The Love, Teach Blog describes two particularly fun review games: Reviewsical Chairs and Trashketball. The first is played just like regular musical chairs except the last student standing can “challenge” a seated student for his/her chair. Ask the two students a review question and the first to answer correctly wins the chair. Trashketball, is played by dividing the class into two teams, asking a review question, and allowing a member from the winning team to shoot a ball into the trashcan for an additional two points.
  3. Go on a virtual tour
    Thanks to technology, you can take your students on a trek through the Amazon without stepping foot outside the classroom. Many distinguished museums and organizations offer free online tours and videos. Check out our GEI article about virtual tours for more inspiration. A few teacher favorites include The Smithsonian, The Virtual Rainforest, and the Exploratorium.


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