10 No-Fail Time Fillers for Middle School Classrooms

time fillers for middle school classroom
These ten no-fail time fillers for middle school will help you to build relationships with your students and make the most of extra time in the classroom!

Do you ever find yourself with ten extra minutes at the end of a class? I know it’s rare, but it happens!  Time fillers for middle school can be fun and educational!  

Here are a few fun (mostly) content centered ideas that I’ve gathered to help make the most of any extra instructional time you have in the classroom or online!

1. BUILD RELATIONSHIPS

This first one is not instructional, but building relationships with your students is one of the most important things you can do!

Take a few minutes to find out what they do after school, what sports they play, or the best part of their weekend.  Connecting with your students will pay off ten-fold in the long run! 

If you haven’t checked out the website, brightful.me, it’s free and full quick ice-breaker type activities that you can play both online and in-person with your students!

2. DIGITAL EXIT TICKETS

Exit tickets don’t have to be boring!

Digital exit tickets are a fun, formative assessment strategy and a great time filler for middle school! They are a quick and easy way to check for understanding and usually take 5 minutes or less.

What I love most about digital exit tickets is that they are no-prep and great for any subject.

The thought provoking prompts help students summarize their learning and help you to understand what support they may need to be successful. 

Take a look at this free digital exit ticket and see how you can use it in your classroom!

Wondering how you can use digital exit tickets in your classroom? Everything you need is in this blog post!

digital-exit-tickets
CHECK OUT THE COLLECTION OF FUN DIGITAL EXIT TICKETS HERE!

3. MASK BREAK! 

Take advantage of the fresh air and give students a few minutes to take off their mask and socially distance from their classmates!

4. “What If” VIDEOS

“What if Jupiter lost its atmosphere?”

“What if you flew to space on a jetpack?”

My students LOVE the “What If” videos on Youtube! They are filled with outrageous scenarios that students wonder about. Plus, they are grouped into the topics by area of interest, so there’s something for everyone!

5. CREATE VOCABULARY MEMES

Looking to increase academic vocabulary? This time filler for middle school is fun and creative!

In just 10 minutes, you can encourage creativity and higher-level thinking with vocabulary! Students can work separately or in small groups to design vocabulary meme posters. BONUS – these look great printed and hung on the wall!  

This EDITABLE activity is in google slides format, includes instructions, tech tips, sample memes, and a rubric. 

vocabulary-meme-project
Students will love getting creative with vocabulary memes!

6. BRAIN DUMP

Have you ever given your students a sheet of paper and asked them to do a “brain dump?” Students can use pictures, words, and symbols to share their ideas.

Up the ante by brain dumping outside with sidewalk chalk or giving them chalk markers and letting them show their stuff on the tables.

 7. PICTIONARY

Pictionary is always fun and it’s a great time filler for middle school students! Students can play in small groups or the class can play as one big group.

Just assign students content-based vocabulary to draw and let their classmates guess the word. Lots of fun and laughs guaranteed!

8. ONLINE REVIEW GAMES

We all know that our students love games! There are so many great platforms out there to choose from! Some of my favorites are Kahoot, GimKit, Quizizz, and Blooket.

Why not use a few minutes and let them compete against each other to show what they know!

10. PERIODIC TABLE CHALLENGE

This is a lot of fun if your students have experience with the periodic table. Challenge students to use the periodic table to build:

  • the longest (clean) word
  • the longest sentence
  • the longest word using the most symbols
  • the most words in 3 minutes
  • the list goes on and on….

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