Do you allow free time after finishing work?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by wildcat82, Jul 20, 2007.

  1. wildcat82

    wildcat82 Rookie

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    Jul 20, 2007

    It seems I always have kids who finish early and actually do a great job on thier work. Other than silent reading, which is always an option in my room, what do you allow your kids to do? What type of "Free Time Activities" do you have for them?
     
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  3. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Jul 20, 2007

    I know a 4th grade teacher that has a large puzzle...500 or more pieces that the kids can do for quiet done with work. I think he allowed 2-4 kids at a time so it didn't get loud. I forgot this is for the whole class to participate in, it's set up on a table or counter.

    I know when I subbed a lot of kids would read & then take AR tests. When I taught first some did this, others drew pictures or read books.
     
  4. LKcoby11

    LKcoby11 Rookie

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    Jul 20, 2007

    i was thinking about the same thing recently. my plan is to create some shoebox centers that they can take to their seats and complete quietly. i have also seen other teachers use the "mastery club" in which students complete tasks, in their own time, in order to become a member of the mastery club.

    http://www.redmond.k12.or.us/mccall/renz/masteryclub.htm
     
  5. BuLadybug

    BuLadybug Rookie

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    Jul 20, 2007

    When my kids are done with their work they can silent read, work on a file folder game, puzzles (usually only 2 people), get on the computer, work on an extra paper (word find, coloring, etc), practice word wall words, math facts, etc.

    I teach first grade and usually have a list of 3-4 choices per day that students can choose from. I make sure though that I go over the rules for each choice.
     
  6. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    Jul 20, 2007

    My kids do get choice time. Sometimes I will say, read, or journal write, but often it's read, write or draw.

    Some activities I know will take less time than the period, and I have things I want them to do, specifically independent math work, reading, or journals. I will say before we begin that they are to do one of those things when they are done.

    If a small group working together finishes early they can play a game. I have found my kids LOVE knitting, crocheting and making friendship bracelets, and they can do that as well.

    Some years, I let them have choice time, and it really is their choice and they make good choices! With one great group, I had independent projects, and they chose something to work on independently and planned a project. They did everything from making a model of the Space Needle to research projects. This was an exceptional group though. They worked on their projects when they were done, and the kids accomplished several projects in the year-- all designed and planned on their own. Every other year, they needed more limits than that. I have tried to do this again, and it never quite worked out as well.
     
  7. patti2

    patti2 Cohort

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    I post a tic-tac-toe grid of options. some are long term projects (research blue whales and create a diorama) and some are very short (create a person using only foods). I try to make the listing higher order thinking activities
     
  8. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Jul 20, 2007

    My kids always have other stuff they can work on if they finish early.

    One huge key to classroom/behavior management is keeping the kids busy. If they're busy, they don't usually have time to get into trouble.
     
  9. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    Jul 20, 2007

    Every student in my school is required to read 25 books a year. For 4th grade, they are required to read chapter books. Meeting this challenge can be difficult for struggling readers, so the only option they have is to read if they finish their work early.
     
  10. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Honestly, I keep them so busy that I rarely have early finishers. Individual kids who finish early are sometimes encouraged to work ahead after a brief conference with me. I usually give a short free time when we have accomplished what we need to and could use a break. My kids like mancala, password, making designs with geometric shapes, setting up color tiles (like dominoes) and making them fall in a pattern, Chinese checkers, puzzles. I have loads of games in the room and wish we had more time for them.
     
  11. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    I'm the same as Upsadaisy. I keep the kids quite busy. But in the same respect, when they're done, they read, take Reading Counts tests, write in journals, and complete problems like Mastery Club (my own club called Cranium Commanders). Every once in a while, they go for the tangrams or the microscope. I have many games, too, but I mainly pull those out on rainy days and at the end of the year.
     
  12. ekuchar

    ekuchar New Member

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    Hi! I have a large poster in my room that I blew up from a word document at Kinkos. The children in my class know that after they finish their work, the time becomes their "free time" which means that they can choose an activity from the free time poster:
    Here's what the poster says, but picture it with pictures and stuff. :)

    Free Time
    I’m Done!
    Now What?

    Do your classroom job
    Read a book
    Check out a book
    Take an AR Test
    Organize your desk
    Work on homework
    Rainbow Spelling Words
    Practice math facts flash cards
    “Take it to your Seat” Folders
    Write in your journal
    Sharpen Pencils
     
  13. ekuchar

    ekuchar New Member

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    Jul 21, 2007

    P.S. Rainbow spelling words are where they write their spelling words, one at a time, and trace over it in three of their favorite colors to make a rainbow. It is important that they do them one at a time because it drills the spelling into their heads.
     
  14. abequette

    abequette Rookie

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    Jul 21, 2007


    What all do you have in their "take it to your seat" folders??
     
  15. ekuchar

    ekuchar New Member

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    Jul 21, 2007

    "Take it to your Seat" is a wonderful series of books available at Barns and Noble and Amazon.com (those are the two places I've found them). Just type in Take it To your Seat (it's by Jo Ellen Moore and some are by Jo Ellen Moore and Jo Larsen.
    This series comes by grade level and subject, for example, you can buy a book of 5th grade literacy or 4th grade math. The book is full of centers that you cut out and make copies of the worksheets and put in the folders. (You have to make the folders by tearing out the "cover page" and gluing it to the front of a pocket folder.) There are student directions for each folder and it tells you exactly how to assemble each. There are about 30 centers in each. There is also a sheet that you can write the student names on and check off which folders they have completed.
     
  16. teal

    teal Rookie

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    Jul 21, 2007

    I did this in fifth grade and it worked great....I did have to lay down rules...only 4 people, whisper only, and fighting resulted in the puzzle station being shut down. They love the goal of completing a huge puzzle as a class.
     
  17. Calalilys

    Calalilys Comrade

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    Jul 21, 2007

    When my students finish work early (which doesn't have very often), they go to our Workshop Way board. They start with task one and work their way through the list during the week. Every Monday, they start back at #1. I have pasted the list below if anyone wants to use it in their own classrooms. Once I take pictures of my classroom next week, I'll post pictures of what the Workshop Way area actually looks like.

    1. Work-in-Progress Folder: Check your folder to make sure that it is empty. If you have incomplete work inside, you need to complete it and turn it into the tray before moving on to #2.

    2. Journal Writing: Open up the journal folder and find the entry with today’s date. That is your writing topic for the day. You must write at least half a page in your journal. When you are finished, place your journal inside of the basket.

    3. Cursive: Select a cursive sheet from the basket to complete and turn it into the Workshop Way tray. Make sure your letters are nice and neat. If they are sloppy or do not look like they should, you will redo the worksheet.

    4. Tic-Tac-Toe Spelling: Study your spelling words for the week by completing a tic-tac-toe sheet. Staple your work to the tic-tac-toe sheet and turn it into the Workshop Way tray when you are done.

    5. Educational Poster: Create a poster that teaches the class about a topic we have learned so far this year. Make sure that your poster includes information on the topic you chose and that it is neat and colorful. For example, you might choose to create a poster about the writing process so you would explain the parts of the writing process. Turn the poster into me when you are done.

    6. History Events: Read this week’s event and complete the activities that go along with it. When you are done, turn it into the Workshop Way basket.

    7. Daily Gram: Select a worksheet from the basket. After it’s completed, turn it into the Workshop Way basket.

    8. Multiplication/Division Drill: Select a drill from the basket to complete. Choose a drill that you are having difficulty with. If you are stuck on your 7’s, choose that one. I do not want to see you doing a drill that is too easy for you. When you are done, turn it into the Workshop Way tray.

    9. Compliment Jar: Write at least one compliment for someone in our class and place it inside of the jar. Remember: A compliment is when you write down something nice that another person did. For example, you might write, “Sean, I really liked how you walked quietly in the hallway today.”

    10. Website: Add information to your website. See me if you need help with this or are unsure of what needs to be on your site.

    11. Tic-Tac-Toe Vocabulary: Study your vocabulary words for the week by completing a tic-tac-toe sheet. Staple your work to the tic-tac-toe sheet and turn it into the Workshop Way tray when you are done.

    12. Blog: Ask to log onto a computer to write an entry for your blog. Make sure you type your response in Microsoft Word first so that you can copy and paste it into your blog. You only have to do this once every two weeks.

    13. Puzzle: Select a puzzle from the basket to build or work with a classmate who is already building a puzzle.

    14. Map Skills: Choose a blank map and label each of the areas on the map. You may use your social studies textbook, books in the classroom/school library or internet links on our class website.

    15. Illustration: Select a sentence from the basket and draw an illustration of the sentence. Don’t forget to color it. When you are finished, place your drawing into the Workshop Way tray.

    16. Educational Activities: Choose an activity from any of the containers (you may play the game with a classmate who is also on number ten) at the Workshop Way table or see me to play an activity on the computer.

    17. Internet Scavenger Hunt: Choose a colored card from one of the baggies. Follow the directions on the card to complete the scavenger hunt. When you are done, turn your answer sheet into the Workshop Way basket.

    18. Random Act of Kindness: Choose someone to do a random act of kindness for. You can create a card, write them a nice letter, etc.

    19. Descriptive Writing: Choose a topic of choice and write one page describing what you would see, hear, smell, touch and taste. Make sure that your writing is clear and paints an image in your audiences mind. The title of your writing should be what you are describing to your audience. When you are finished, turn your writing into the Workshop Way tray.

    20. Virtual Field Trip: Choose a virtual field trip worksheet to complete. Make sure to read the directions before you begin your field trip. When you are finished, turn it into the Workshop Way basket.

    21. Redesign the Classroom: Select a sheet of paper from the basket and draw a picture of how our classroom would look if YOU were to design it! Who knows, your design might be our next classroom layout! When you are finished, place your design in the Workshop Way tray.

    22. Silent Reading: You may sit at my desk, or anywhere else in the room, to read silently. When you are finished reading, you are to fill out your reading response journal. In your journal, you will write a summary of what you read.

    23. Research Project: Choose a topic of your choice to research. You are to write a one page paper explaining what you learned about the topic. When you are finished, place your design in the Workshop Way tray.

    * If any section of Workshop Way needs more copies, please let me know.

    * If Workshop Way needs to be organized, please do so. All papers mus be in their folder and not sticking out all over the place.
     
  18. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    Jul 21, 2007

    I have a variety for choices for my students who finish including: learning centers (folder games), reading, computer work, work on other homework, drawing (sometimes), quiz themselves with Brainquest, and sometimes just put their heads down and rest. I tell them I don't ever want to hear "I don't know what to do" or I will put them to work.
     
  19. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

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    Jul 22, 2007

    Calalilys, I love the blog suggestion, but I feel you all should realize that when you copy/paste from Word into most blogger platforms, the font, spacing, and 'arrangement' are often messed up. It's much better to write directly on the blog platform itself. A good platform has its own editing devices, far superior to Word.

    Which blogging platform are your students using?

    Good for you, for encouraging online blogging for your students! Many schools are far too backward and don't even know what that is, particularly the administration of such schools.

    Yay, you!
     
  20. Calalilys

    Calalilys Comrade

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    Jul 22, 2007

    My students are using classblogmeister.com, which I really like because all comments have to be approved by me, so I can control what is posted on their blogs. Plus, if their post doesn't make sense or there are a lot of errors (spelling, punctuation, capitalization, etc.), I don't approve them and they have to go back and revise/edit ther work.
     

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