Discussion in 'Third Grade' started by teacher_cc, Jul 24, 2008.
Jul 24, 2008
What are some activities that you have done for students who finish early?
My students have choices of "may do" activities after completing their "must do" activities. I also use a book (called I'm through, now what do I do? or something like that).
Jul 27, 2008
I am working on making this better in my room....one of the things I do is allow them the chance to read a book. I also ask kids to go around and help others who are having trouble depending on the activity.
This year I will have a "When I am Finished Folder" that will hold their journal, journal prompt calendar, and a "When I am Finished Packet." The packet is made up a various extra sheets from our math curriculum that I don't get to, and other math review. As much as I love our math program, we don't ever get a chance to really revisit many things. My students will be allowed to add to/finish their daily journal prompt, work on their math packet, or read from the self selected reading book..
I have a basket/area with a sign that says "Check me out!" Essentially, it is different items, activities, books that I have mentioned previously, thought was interesting, came across but didn't have the time to invest in teaching, and/or I came across it AFTER I taught the unit/lesson. My kids know, however, that before they go to the "Check me out" area that their work is their best and they have worked on any unfinished work. They also know they can always free write, practice facts, read, not bother me...
Jul 28, 2008
I tend to always plan for those I know will get through the work quickly...... it tends to be what they were doing but a much more complex level. Plus they have their journals which they are allowed to write in once the lesson activity is done. Most of my children love to write draw etc in their journals.
Aug 1, 2008
I have a Fast Finishers tub. It contains hanging file folders for each subject and any extra copies of activities are in there for extra practice. There are also enrichment activities in there as well as file folder games.
Quite frankly, I don't use this tub too often. It always has ready to go materials, but the students also have a WIP (work in progress) folder, reading bingo (they try to read 5 different genres of books to get a bingo - this takes a while!), practice cursive, etc. I keep a running list of things they can do when they are done. The FF tub is only for when all of the other things are done.
Aug 2, 2008
Would you share more information about your reading bingo and the running list of things they can do when they are done? I am a 2nd year teacher, I had a lower class last year so most of the students finished around the same time. Thanks!!
I knew a teacher who had a "catch up" folder where they kept assignments that weren't completed or needed corrections. I'm not sure how she managed it. I've wanted to try that but I'm not sure I could keep up with it.
Jul 9, 2010
Would you mind sending me more infromation about your reading bingo. That sounds like a great idea! Thanks!
Jul 10, 2010
I have them read a lot. I also have something called a Take 5 book. It's basically a lot of fun pages copied and bound into a book. There are puzzles, coloring pages, and more. They keep it in their desk and sometimes I will let them work in it if they have extra time. (But if they get it out when they're not supposed to, they lose it.)
Jul 13, 2010
I have two options: unfinished work and independent reading.
I think you'll find that kids rush through their work to get to the "better" activities if you offer too many options. I'm all for keeping it simple.
Jul 30, 2010
Early finishers have two choices: either read a book (they all have books from the library or we have our own classroom library) and the other choice is take a worksheet from a basket we have just for this. In this basket, I just pile the leftovers I get from worksheets or homework assignments I give the kids. So, actually they will repeat an exercise they already did some time in the past. Believe it or not, kids love redoing these exercises (if they don't belong to the very same day in which it was originally assigned).
I would be afraid, with the reading bingo, that kids would choose "easy" books and/or rush through the book saying they read it when they didn't...
Jul 31, 2010
I noticed this in second grade for sure. They would do a "rush job" on their seatwork (even an assessment) just to go off to center time, etc.
Aug 4, 2010
I understand that some kids will rush through their work to get to the "fun stuff" but I ALWAYS have students who finish really quickly and need more intellectual stimulation than just reading a book for AR points or writing. I'd love to hear how you do your reading bingo and exactly what your running list consists of.
Aug 6, 2010
Finish late work first then:
2. practice flashcards (they keep a set in their desk)
3. write (they love to do this especially after we have done some poetry!)
4. play a math game quietly with a friend (depending on what activity the others are working on and how quiet the room needs to be). As I teach a math game, I have a list posted with the materials/manipulatives underneath
I used to have a "finished folder" of things for kids to do, but now they may read, study Spelling words, or finish missed/unfinished work. Otherwise I've found that kids rush through assignments to get to do the finished folder activities and some kids are upset that they don't get to do the "extras" because they don't finish in time.
I totally agree. While I also have my bins of math/science/Language arts games and activities, work must be triple checked before students are allowed to go to utilize these bins. Often times I have the students silent read or study vocabulary cards.
I use my "early finishers" work primarily for times when I'm administering a re-test to the majority of the class. For instance we take a 2nd spelling test on Friday for those students not achieving 100% on the pre-test. Those students who don't need to retake are given the opportunity to work on file folder games (usually something we've already used in small groups), fact work (flashcards, the window folders, etc.), handwriting, or challenge materials.
Each week the kiddos are given a spelling fun packet with a wordsearch, jumble and vocabulary crossword puzzle. I allow students to work on this when they're finished with some activities that I know may not take as long for my higher students. At the end of the week if they've turned this in completed, they receive some sort of an incentive (sometimes 5% points on the spelling test). This way I know they're studying the spelling and vocab even if they don't think they are. It's very standard each week so I usually don't have anyone rushing to do it. Students can also take the packet home to work on and turn in on Friday but I only issue the packet once to each student.
I check all tests (except spelling) prior to them being turned in to ensure that all questions have been answered. I typically don't focus too much on whether or not the answers are correct but if I see that someone is finished earlier than I had anticipated for their level, I'll check their answers and may make a recommendation that they spend more time on it. Since the students know they have to pass through me to turn in their work, they are much more likely to take their time and do their best.
Students also take formative assessments through our computer program once every few weeks and we talk about how if they don't use their time and do their best, the computer will think they don't know how to do things and will assign more activities to them. With some students it's not enough to tell them this, they have to experience it. I had a student last year take a 30 question quiz in 8 min., submit it, and then whine when the computer assigned around 20 activities because they missed all but 4 questions.
Aug 7, 2010
I have an "I'm Through! What Do I Do?" poster in my room that on write on with a Visa-a-Visa marker so I can change the activities. Students know first that they should complete work in their "Incomplete Folder" bins as soon as they are done. I keep this in a file folder in a bin.
If their incomplete work is done then they go to the poster to find an activity.
It's a poster you can buy on ReallyGoodStuff.com but I just created my own so I didn't have to spend the money.
Aug 9, 2010
Try to integrate logical extensions in each activity you assign. Planning proactively about what early finishers could do with their regular assignments is a lot less effort to me than finding and making extra things for them to do. Besides, I think it's better to continue their regular assignments, maybe from a different perspective, than to just give them something unrelated.
For instance, if it's a story they are reading, you can ask them to give you a list of similarities and differences between the main character and one from another story.
If it's a social studies or science activity, you can have them take the vocabulary words from the lesson and make flashcards, or a comic strip that explains what the words mean.
If it's math, have them quiz each other with problems they write themselves, or make flashcards.
For most activities, I assume I will have early finishers and try to come up with one or two extra "extensions" for those assignments. In most teacher edition books, extensions are already included.
There are a ton of ways to extend the lessons kids finish early, and it saves me time to just do it that way. I'd be forever searching for word searches, crossword puzzles and extra worksheets to copy if I didn't.
Of course, I'm not opposed to separate worksheets and tasks for early finishers. I just wouldn't rely on it.