Monday, January 9, 2012

Ten Minute Smarters

I started something new this year. I call it "Ten Minute Smarters", and the class has taken off with it.

Simply said, I take 10 minutes out of each day (usually in the afternoon when the kids are starting to get tired.) The students sit at 5 tables, each one marked a specific "color". There are 5 activities in all, which means each table will get to do each activity by the end of the week.

When I call out, "Time for Ten Minute Smarters!", the children go to a set of cubbies that are marked with their table color, get the activities, and go back to their tables to do them. At the end of 10 min. (approx.), I call time, and the activities go back in their cubbies. All I have to do is move the activities over to the next color for the next day. If there is an activity I don't think the children will self-understand, I introduce it on Mondays prior to breaking into groups.

Here are the activites:

Activity One: small group reading with teacher (usually at the carpet with their readers)
Activity Two: an activity which reinforces letter names and sounds, sounding out and blending words, and sometimes writing these sounds/letters/words
Activity Three: small group reading on their own at their table (I give them a high-interest piece they can manage on their own with little help.)
Activity Four and Five: these are manipulatives and games that reinforce math and other reading skills. I get some of my ideas off Pinterest, and the rest I adapt from other places and workshops. I don't use worksheets unless they are a group effort fill-in or part of a game board.

In the days to come I will be sharing some of the game and activities here, and I'll upload them as freebies for others to download, print, and share.

(P.S. If I had 5 computers, I would definitely use them as one activity, as there are many wonderful sites the kids could visit.)


  1. I really like this idea. I am a first year K teacher and have never heard of anything like this! I like the time frame and how you mix math and ELA. When did you introduce this idea? Mid year or sooner?

    1. Hi, Heather! I didn't start actually instigating this as a regular part of my daily schedule until this past year. I started it in January, right after we got back from the holidays. I've now created more materials so I can start soon after the school year begins.