1. Mental Math
My kids LOVE this. There is no paper or pencils allowed. The only tools the kids have is their mind. I basically give the kids a very long math problem, where they are doing multiple operations in succession. For example, I will say, "5 plus 5, minus 8, times 2 equals...." When I say equals, that is the students' cue to answer. They may only raise their hand when I say equals. The kid who raises their hand first gets to answer and then we start again. Sometimes I make the problem really hard, sometimes really easy. The idea is that they are using their brains and calculating everything without relying on pencil and paper. It also is a great, educational time filler.
3. What I Learned in 5th Grade
Here is a copy for you. I actually made one for a few different grade levels (as I know there are many grade levels represented here) Enjoy!
This sounds like a no-brainer, but really, anytime we get a few extra minutes, I love to have the kids get out their library books and read. We really do so little reading for enjoyment during the day, that any spare time we have is always used well when a book is in the hands of the students.
OK...so there are a few of the ideas I have on how to fill that extra 5 minutes. What about you? What are some thing YOU do in YOUR classroom to keep the class learning in those minutes before the bell?