Some spare time activities that go on in my first grade classroom:
- flash card practice with a partner
- extra math practice work sheets
- read so many minutes
- do an extra worksheet/project about what we’ve been studying in science or history
- draw a ______ picture and write a story about it–some prompts have been a rainy day picture, a spring time picture, something purple, something they do at home, etc.
- illustrate poems and make a poem book out of their pages–I have the poems printed out on papers and we often read and enjoy the poem together. These are then assigned as spare time projects. Those who don’t have time to illustrate them have the poem collection and have enjoyed hearing/reading the poems.
- put a puzzle together
For older than first grade students:
- journal/story prompts.
- This year one of the aides put together a form for students to fill out about famous landmarks and places such as the Taj Mahal, Grand Canyon, Mt. Everest, etc. Students had to find the information in the encyclopedia.
- In second grade students researched, reported on, and created posters on animals and birds.
- Take assignments a step further. This idea is from Jr. High but it can give you an idea about how to do this. The assignment was to write three haiku poems. As an extra for spare time the students were to choose their best haiku, write it on an index card and illustrate it.
Some ideas will need some teacher input to get the students started. You want to create ideas that once students know what is expected they can work on their own.
At our school most teachers have a list of “extras” that need to be worked on before students do any of their own projects. This list includes things like study Bible Memory, write spelling words, read ten minutes, along with more of a “fun” activity. Items are usually listed in the order they should be done so the fun activities would be at the end of the list unless the activity is something that most students should complete.