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Time Fillers for Substitute Teachers: 2nd Grade Math Activities

Here are some time filler activities for 2nd-grade math that require no supplies:

  1. Math Storytelling: Have students take turns creating and sharing math stories. For example, "I had 5 apples, and I gave 2 to my friend. How many apples do I have left?"

  2. Math Scavenger Hunt: Call out math-related instructions like "Find something in the classroom that is a rectangle" or "Point to an object that is longer than 10 inches."

  3. Number Chain: Start with a number, such as 25. The next student has to say the next number in sequence, which might be 26. Continue until you reach a certain number, and then start over with a new initial number.

  4. Skip Counting: Call out a number and ask students to skip count by a specific increment, like counting by 5s or 10s. For example, "Start at 3 and count by 5: 3, 8, 13, ..."

  5. Math Riddles: Present simple math riddles like "I am a number between 10 and 20. When you add 5, you get 16. What number am I?"

  6. Number Patterns: Write the beginning of a number pattern on the board, and ask students to complete it. For instance, "2, 4, 6, __, __, __, ..."

  7. Mental Math Challenges: Call out addition or subtraction problems and ask students to solve them in their heads. For example, "What is 7 + 9?" or "What is 15 - 6?"

  8. Greater Than or Less Than: Provide pairs of numbers and ask students to use the greater than (>) or less than (<) symbol to compare them. For example, "7 ___ 3" or "12 ___ 18."

  9. Math Songs and Rhymes: Sing math-related songs together, like counting songs, multiplication songs, or songs about shapes.

  10. Number Words: Call out a number in digit form (e.g., 42) and ask students to say the number in word form (e.g., "forty-two").

  11. Measurement Exploration: Have students discuss and explore measurement concepts like longer, shorter, taller, heavier, and lighter by comparing themselves or objects in the classroom.

  12. Math Challenges: Pose open-ended math challenges for students to work on mentally, such as "Can you think of three different ways to make 20 using addition?"

  13. Math Stories on the Fly: Ask students to create short math stories by coming up with a situation, such as "There were 12 animals on a farm. Half of them were cows. How many cows were there?"

These activities are designed to be quick, engaging, and require no additional supplies, making them ideal for filling brief gaps of time in the classroom while reinforcing 2nd-grade math skills.


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