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Nineteen Ways to Use Spare Classroom Time

Posted by on May 23, 2011

I keep a list of themed websites that are easy-in easy-out for students. They must be activities that can be accomplished enjoyably in less than ten minutes. In the parlance, these are called “sponges”.

What exactly are sponge activities? The term, originally coined by Madeline Hunter, refers to an activity designed to produce learning during the time taken up by “administrivia.” They stem from Hunter’s teaching philosophy that there should be no wasted moments in her classroom.

Here’s my list, by topic:


Vocabulary Building




For more of these sponge activities, click on Sponge Activities–Part II

Share any sponges you have that are popular What do you do during free time with students?

–Thanks to 55 Technology Projects for the Digital Classroom


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