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3rd Grade Math Activities for Substitute Teachers

Updated: Dec 13, 2023

Here are some unique time filler activities for 3rd-grade math that require no supplies and offer a different twist:


  1. Math Pictionary Relay: Divide the class into teams. Each team takes turns sending one student to the board. Call out a math term or concept, and the student must draw it for their team to guess within a time limit.

  2. Math Charades: Similar to Pictionary, but students act out math terms or concepts without speaking while their classmates try to guess.

  3. Math Vocabulary Storytelling: Challenge students to create a short story using a list of math vocabulary words you provide. For example, they might include words like "multiplication," "angle," "perimeter," or "fraction."

  4. Math Riddles Relay: Form teams and provide a series of math riddles. Each student takes turns solving a riddle and sharing the answer with their team before the next student gets a turn.

  5. Math Pattern Challenge: Have students take turns starting a math pattern with numbers, shapes, or colors. The next student must continue the pattern. For example, "square, triangle, square, __, __, __, __."

  6. Math Survey: Ask students to go around the classroom and survey their classmates on a math-related question, such as "What's your favorite number?" or "What's your favorite math topic?" Have them tally the responses and share the results.

  7. Estimation Challenge: Present students with a jar filled with objects (e.g., paperclips, marbles) and ask them to estimate how many items are in the jar. Discuss their estimations as a class and then count to find the actual total.

  8. Number Hunt: Give students a list of math-related words or numbers to find in a word search puzzle or crossword. This activity reinforces math vocabulary and terms. You can create a word search or crossword at https://puzzlemaker.discoveryeducation.com.

  9. Math Challenges on the Board: Write challenging math problems on the board and ask students to solve them mentally. These can cover various math topics like fractions, geometry, or patterns.


These activities offer a different approach to reinforcing 3rd-grade math skills and engaging students in a fun and interactive way. They encourage teamwork, creativity, and critical thinking while requiring no additional supplies.


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