Early Finishers

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Croissant, Aug 28, 2011.

  1. Croissant

    Croissant Comrade

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    Aug 28, 2011

    So with one week under my belt, I have already identified a few students in each of my classes who are probably going to be my early finishers. After an assignment this week, I gave them some of the extra getting to know you worksheets that I had decided at the last minute not to use as a class activity. The worksheet kept them busy and quiet while everyone else finished up, but while I guess it could be considered "busy work," they enjoyed it. This got me to thinking about having backup assignments like this for the rest of the year. I hate ALWAYS telling them to read a library book. I'd like for them to have a choice. So, does anyone have any suggestions of activities for early finishers or somewhere to find fun activity pages or something? I teach 6th grade ELAR.
     
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  3. bek3

    bek3 Rookie

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    Aug 28, 2011

    I, personally, think this time is best spent with the students reading self - selected books on their level. In my room the students can choose from reading or working on writing (a journal entry or a current assignment). 90% of the time students choose to read and it is always hard for me to tear them away when we need to move on to something else. I hate to say no when they beg for "just five more minutes".

    I do give the option of working on Math facts if they finish early in Math and the need is present.
     
  4. Ms.SLS

    Ms.SLS Cohort

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    Aug 28, 2011

    After I check and make sure there is nothing else they can do to improve their assignment, I let my kids pick a book to read or work on homework.
     
  5. Croissant

    Croissant Comrade

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    Aug 28, 2011

    I guess I should have mentioned that the library does not open until NEXT week. The few books I had in my classroom library have already been checked out by students who were super excited to get their hands on a book. I don't honestly know if I'll ever get them back, but I was just excited to see them WANT a book...
     
  6. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Aug 28, 2011

    I have my early finishers (high school) either read or work on homework for another class. This year I'm going to try making an "enrichment" file-bucket-thing with several of the more fun activities that don't fit into my curriculum, along with maybe some logic puzzles or something too.
     
  7. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Aug 28, 2011

    If it's a test I usually will list on the board what to do, but they always know that AR and sometimes Accel. Math are for early finishers. I have "Empty Desk Blues". I'll warn them once or twice to get something out to work on, but if they don't, then I had them a card (just printed on paper) that lists words for them to define. (Words like responsibility, effort, etc) There are 30 words on the list. They don't want to get that!
     
  8. Avery

    Avery Rookie

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    Aug 28, 2011

    I always have a list prepared for this. I used to have a dry erase poster that said "What to do when you finish" and it had a bunch of activities (from hand out papers to read a book to do a puzzle from a book (Dollar Tree always has some little puzzle books and things). Then kids had a choice.
    If I felt like certain kids were always doing the same thing, I might erase that thing for a few days.
     
  9. bek3

    bek3 Rookie

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    Aug 28, 2011

    You could get into scholastic book clubs. They give 25 free books to teachers who are new to the program (five books at a time when you place an order). Plus you get a free book every time a student places an order online. Not to mention all the bonus points you can accumulate. It is an easy way to quickly build up a classroom library for free.
     
  10. Joy

    Joy Cohort

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    Aug 28, 2011

    I've seen alot of teachers that I sub for make up an extra packet with fun and challenging worksheets. Sometimes the worksheets reinforce something that they are working on in class and sometimes it is something that they don't have time to cover or will cover later. I saw a teacher make a really interesting one for S.S. She had lots of maps and puzzles dealing with state capitals and interesting state facts. The kids loved it and looked forward to finishing early so that they could work on it. The kids kept the packets in their desks and were allowed to work on it after finishing work. It also made it alot easier to sub for her. Sometimes the early finishers get tired of being told to read to self.
     
  11. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Aug 28, 2011

    The problem that I've seen with having something they consider fun for early finishers is that you end up with kids rushing to be an early finisher. Kids who normally would spend more time on the assignment.
     
  12. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    Aug 28, 2011

    I have a number of those little logic games like Rush Hour available for kids to do when done. They really enjoy them. I have about 8-10 different ones, from little penguins on ice, to a swimming pool where you need to get the guy on the innertube out. I also have math packets that each child can work on with various facts and number puzzles. They can work on those any time.

    I have also started a new thing on an extra white board. I put up "Things to Think About" each day. They can be anagrams, hinkie pinkies, geography questions, tricky math problems, cryptograms, and so forth. The kids like using the white board, so they do it. This year I am also going to add words for them to look up in the dictionary and thesaurus.

    Now, only a few kids get to do it on any given day, because I only put a few up, however, often, the kids will write down something, even if someone else already did. If we get more than one solution, we discuss it at some point.

    Aside from that, I have them read. Sometimes I let them draw, if we have time to get markers, etc. out.

    I don't like to have only reading available, because some kids really love math and this gets them doing more of that as well.
     
  13. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    Aug 29, 2011

    Mine have several options. I have a crate of "Catch-Up Folders" where they store in-progress work. They can also read, or take a puzzle paper (logic problems, etc.) from a basket. I have one of those "things to do" posters, and I'll let them know what categories they can choose from. It has things like draw a scene from the book you are reading, write a letter, create story problems, and study memory work. We also have some of those games and some decks of trivia cards (we call them "Brain Games"), but we don't get those out every day. I try to teach them to choose a variety of activities. They usually need me to check their work before moving on. My students have another good chunk of independent reading time during the day, but many do still choose to read.
     

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