Early Finishers

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Bella2010, Aug 17, 2013.

  1. Bella2010

    Bella2010 Habitué

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    Aug 17, 2013

    Hi All,

    So my usual policy is that when a kiddo is finished working, he/she has to read their ARP book. I'm torn about this policy, though. If a kid doesn't like to read, I'm thinking they'll either (a) just sit there and stare at the book and/or (2) act out because they don't want to be sitting there "reading."

    I was thinking this year I would give them the options of reading, homework, or some reinforcement skill cards. I'm torn, though. Since I'm requiring them to take an ARP test every three weeks or so, shouldn't I be having them read to help get them to that point? But I really think with this group, behavior wise, I'd be better off letting them make a choice.

    :help:

    Beth
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Aug 17, 2013

    Whatever you decide, just be careful that whatever choice activities they have aren't more fun than the actual assigned activity. If the "when you're done" activity is more fun, then you will have a lot of students rushing through their work and being careless just to get to the fun stuff.
     
  4. Bella2010

    Bella2010 Habitué

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    Aug 17, 2013

    I'm thinking about (1) read ARP book (2) work on homework or (3) skill reinforcement cards. I found some on Pinterest, and Mailbox magazine has some.
     
  5. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Aug 17, 2013

    Bella,

    This has been the #1 hardest thing for me in teaching 5th grade. I hope there are some teachers who have lots of ideas on this, because I have very few.

    Yes, I agree that a choice of items is good. #2 I have mixed feelings about, but my feelings are as positive as they negative about this.
     
  6. Bella2010

    Bella2010 Habitué

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    Me, too. What if I have a kid who hates to read, isn't going to read, and is just going to sit there and look at his/her book. His/her time would be much better spent working on homework. Or, if I have little Johnny who needs to be busy ALL THE TIME and hates to read, but loves science, I think he'd be much better served by letting him plan a project, work on homework, make a study guide, etc. :confused:
     
  7. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Aug 17, 2013

    I'm not sure what an ARP book is (are they books assigned to the students?). When my students are finished with work, they grab their book bins. The bins contain self-selected books that they are interested in. I believe in sneaking independent reading time in whenever possible. I can't think of a better thing to do with any "extra" time that pops up during the day! I very rarely have issues with students not wanting to read, but, again, they are reading books that they have selected.
     
  8. Bella2010

    Bella2010 Habitué

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    Aug 17, 2013

    Oops, sorry. It's an Accelerated Reading Program book, basically a library book. The kids have to choose a book that is no more or less than .5 point away from the STAR reading level.
     
  9. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Ahhh, gotcha! I've heard of AR, but my district doesn't have the program. Are the books things that they are interested in?
     
  10. Bella2010

    Bella2010 Habitué

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    In theory, lol. We have a school library, and I let the kids choose their own books as long as they are within .5 point of their reading level. That being said, our library isn't very diverse or well stocked. By the end of last year, lots of my middle level readers couldn't find a book they liked and hadn't read. It's even harder for my high level kids.
     
  11. queenie

    queenie Groupie

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    Aug 17, 2013

    There are so many books on so many different topics (they can even choose I Spy books, comic books, magazines, etc.) that I have them read, read, read. I do allow them to choose to study spelling words or math facts, but most of them choose to read. Like someone else said before if the finished activity is fun, they race through their assignments to get to do the fun thing.
     
  12. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Aug 17, 2013

    I have a list up in my room that students can choose from when they're done.

    1. Read your book.
    2. Write a book review of a book you've finished (I created a simple form for this, and if they do it I'll hang it up on the wall next to the book corner).
    3. Practice your math facts. (I have a separate desk where they can go and work on flashcards for addition, subtraction, or multiplication).
    4. Write a story about a topic of your choice.
    5. Practice your spelling words.


    I've always had success with it. There is enough there that any kid can find something they want to do (or at least don't mind doing). The activities are all useful and I don't think any of them is too "fun" so that they'll be rushing to finish work. I completely agree with you on the reading thing. If kids will actually read, it's great...but many students will just sit there and stare at the book or randomly flip pages. I know silent reading is all the rage right now, but I'm honestly not a fan because lower readers in particular will just sit there. It's always a fight to get them to choose appropriate books too...and then they're all sulky that they can't choose to "read" chapter books like Harry Potter when they're at a K-1st reading level. I wish we had something like AR where the books were numbered and they were required to only choose those. By giving reading as a choice, kids who will actually do the reading can choose that and benefit from it, while students who wouldn't actually read can be doing some other meaningful activity.
     
  13. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Aug 17, 2013

    :agreed:
     
  14. bowler

    bowler Rookie

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    Aug 17, 2013

    I do must do may do's and they have to complete their must do list before a fun activity. I will say that it takes some time to get to may do's though because they can't handle the responsibility of it in the first few months. Even then I have had some groups that can never earn it and have to do more of the choices that have been suggested like math facts, homework, dear reading.
     

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