I'm finished! What can I do now?

Discussion in 'General Education Archives' started by cher, Sep 9, 2006.

  1. cher

    cher Rookie

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    Sep 9, 2006

    I really need great ideas on how to keep kids on task once they finish their work and others are still working on the activity.
     
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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Sep 9, 2006

    Hi Cher, and welcome!


    Many years ago I had a 6th grade study hall. Once in a while Charles (whose name I still remember after a good 10 years!) would swear he had nothing to do. I asked him to multiply his phone number by his zip code. (Age or address would work just as well :) )

    I'm not sure how old your kids are. But realistically, they can't be "on task" once the task is done. Are they old enough to have a book at their desks they can read? Or could you stockpile a bunch of worksheets/puzzles/suduko/ word searches-- something-- to hand out for times like that? www.edhelper.com has some nice ones.
     
  4. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Sep 9, 2006

    Yes, I would like to know the grade as well. My sixth graders must have their AR book with them at all times. During down time they should be reading their book (or perhaps finishing another class's homework or studying). I love this rule because the student can NEVER tell me they have nothing to do. :)
     
  5. mrs. dub

    mrs. dub Companion

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    Sep 9, 2006

    Hi Cher,

    I'm not sure what grade you teach, but some things I use for middle school are copies of "hidden pictures" (from Highlights--you can find the books at Borders), ongoing puzzles (three at a time at the puzzle table), and a book box full of Scholastic magazines and fun books (pop-ups, Guiness World records, etc.) from which they can choose something and quietly read at their desks.

    Hope this helps a little!
     
  6. cher

    cher Rookie

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    Sep 10, 2006

    I teach grade 3 and 4 this year. I like the "fun book" idea-like magazines-I just ordered Owl. I do have puzzles available. Thanks-I will keep working on it.
     
  7. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Sep 10, 2006

    My 7th graders always have to take an AR book to every class, so they always have something to do when they're finished with the main assignment. Most all of the classes also have a classroom library as well, so they don't have an excuse not to read.
     
  8. jenglish97

    jenglish97 Devotee

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    Sep 10, 2006

    In second grade I create "Challenge Packets." I put a packet of 10-15 sheets together for the children to have in their Classwork folders. Usually, they are brain teasers, and skills that we worked on already. They love these packets. In fact I am giving their 1st one tomorrow to have in hand along with a book to read at their desk.
     
  9. musicbean

    musicbean Rookie

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    Sep 10, 2006

    I'm Finished

    I bought a book called "I'm through! What can I do?" and also a teacher created materials book of brain puzzles. I keep lots of them on hand for kids who finish early (grade 7) and they can earn a no homework coupon after they have completed 10.
     
  10. amyt682

    amyt682 Comrade

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    Sep 11, 2006

    etch a sketch, mini puzzles, play dough, magnets, 20 Q's gadget, turbo twist math w/ headphones, computer time,
     
  11. mrs a

    mrs a Companion

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    Sep 11, 2006

    This sign is posted in my class on red paper.

    "What do we do when
    we’re done?”
    1. Check your work for errors
    Can you make it better?
    2. Read your library book.
    3. AR test.
    4. Get a book from the reading center.
    5. Write in your journal.
    6. Tidy up your desk.
    7. Tidy up the classroom.
    8. Catch up on homework.
    9. Study for a test.
    10. Take a nap.
    11. Help someone else.
    12. Check out a new book in the library.
    13. Write a letter to a friend.
     
  12. katrinkit

    katrinkit Comrade

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    Sep 11, 2006

    Musicbean - I love the idea of giving a coupon when kids have finished ten!

    Something that challenges them is always good. Logic Puzzles are always a good choice. I posted this website elsewhere, but

    http://www.brainbashers.com/teacher

    has a lot of great puzzles. You could do a bulletin board with challenges of the week or day...
     
  13. AngelEyes

    AngelEyes Rookie

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    Oct 8, 2006

    If they are readers, have them always keep a book nearby and use the time for silent reading.
     
  14. Bonnie gr. 2

    Bonnie gr. 2 Companion

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    Oct 9, 2006

    My second graders read when they are done. We do short book reviews of each book and count how many books we read, both as a class and individually. There are class and individual incentives. We usually read over 4,000 books a year. So they are motivated to read, for the most part.
     
  15. love2teach

    love2teach Enthusiast

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    Oct 9, 2006

    Mrs. A----"take a nap"??? I dont think I could get away with that one posted in my room. Although there are some kiddies that could use a nap!
     
  16. TeaCHerAK

    TeaCHerAK Rookie

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    Oct 9, 2006

    I teach 5th grade and so far this year have tried many different activities for those students who have finished their work early. I have writing prompts, math worksheets, mad libs, and origami for the students to work on. I also have a class project each week that the kids can work on when they are finished with their assignments. This past week my class read a story about dolphins and the class project was to make a bulletin board of things you would find under the sea. I provided materials such as paper, glitter, beads, fabric and markers at a table in the back of the room as well as books on the ocean. When the kids were done with all their work, they could go the back of the room and work on the project. It worked well and the students really enjoyed doing the project. It even helped encourage those students who dont really try hard to get their work done to get done early.
     
  17. Tbelle1035

    Tbelle1035 Cohort

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    Oct 9, 2006

    Mrs. A,
    I love your idea! I'm making my poster tomorrow! Thanks!!!
     
  18. michelb366

    michelb366 Comrade

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    Oct 9, 2006

    Aside from many of the ideas already posted, I have two other programs going in my room. The first is a Mystery State challenge. Each week I feature a mystery state. One clue is posted each day with the 5th clue being a dead give-away. The kids earn tickets for our weekly drawing - fewer clues yields more tickets!
    The other program is our Mastery Club. I got this from Mrs. Renz: http://www.redmond.k12.or.us/mccall/renz/masteryclub.htm Once you get it set up, it is totally run on free time. I have 6 gifted kids in my room this year and they are eating it up!
     
  19. Lydia

    Lydia Rookie

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    Oct 12, 2006

    Lots of good ideas already. One thing that has worked for my niece when she was in third grade (she's always done first and was getting into trouble for talking) was for the teacher to have extra activities that she likes to do available. Puzzles, word finds, things like that. It's still instructional, but it's fun too.
     
  20. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Oct 13, 2006

    You should put together thick packets of independent work that they can always do whenever they're done. Make sure to put the papers in different order in each packet so the kids can't just copy from each other.
     
  21. daisyduck123

    daisyduck123 Companion

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    Oct 15, 2006


    This is sort of what I do. Our school's mascot is the Gator, so I gave each child a green 2-pocket folder at the beginning of the year. We put green gator stickers on them from Michael's & we call them our "Gator Folders". Whenever they have something they didn't finish they are told to put it in their Gator Folder. Also, every Monday, I distribute 2 papers (usually one has a lot of math problems on it) that are their Gator papers & go directly into their Gator folders. This way, I know they always have something in their to work on. Now I never hear "I have nothing to do" because they know to just find something to do in their Gator Folder.
     
  22. redskinmom

    redskinmom Rookie

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    Oct 15, 2006

    Free-Choice Basket

    In my first grade classroom, the students sit in table groups. In the middle of each table is a basket. Each basket holds 8-10 books of various reading levels, 2 discovery bottles, and math fact wrap-ups. I rotate the baskets among tables every 3-4 days and when each table has had the basket, I switch out the books and discovery bottles for new ones. The wrap-ups are changed out when we learn a new fact strategy. ;)
     
  23. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Oct 15, 2006

    Thanks for all the ideas!

    Now, for my dilemma - I often have made up packets, etc, and my students always have a free choice book, but I am struggling with the students who need to spend more time on their "main" work, but instead rush through to get to the "extras." Any suggestions? With 26 kids I can't check everyone's work on the spot to tell them if they are "finished."
     
  24. TeachBD

    TeachBD Rookie

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    Oct 17, 2006

    My first year I made a monthly packet of 'seasonal' worksheets. All of those fun little activity sheets that you want to do, but never seem to have time to do.....I packed them SO full with puzzles, mazes, word searches, math pages, language arts sheets, coloring pages, etc; they never had enough time to finish them all. ANY TIME I had a student say they had nothing to do, all I had to say was to pull out your monthly packet and they got busy--
    Yes, it was alot of up front work for me to pull all the seasonally appropriate sheets, but now, I am SO glad to have them!
     
  25. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Oct 17, 2006

    Do you ever have unfinished work? Math papers that one or two students didn't quite finish? We have an unfinished work folder. This also includes word searches they didn't finish and other fun stuff. It's a balance of fun and work. Then when someone finishes thier work, they pull out their unfinished work folder (its different for every student) and they love it! They actually requested this today when we got back from our field trip. You could have knocked me over! I let the students file stuff in their unfinished folder (less work for me). I don't allow them to put things that the whole class is continuing to work on. It's only reserved for those few students who didn't quite finish. (gotta watch the procrasinators..so far this hasn't been a problem).
     
  26. grade1teacher

    grade1teacher Companion

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    Oct 17, 2006

    I thought about your dilemma today, because I go through the same thing - I find myself looking through sloppy/incomplete/coulda-been-better sheets that students rushed through to get to the fun stuff. I don't have a perfect solution, but I decided that today, other things would need to be put on hold to teach them how I need their pages to look. So I spent extra time telling them what I expected before I handed out the packets. AS they worked on their sheets, instead of me doing reading groups or other things, I walked around to each desk as they worked and checked each sheet. If they didnt do their best, they redid it and could not go to the "extra fun stuff" until it was done. It took awhile and some kids were dissapointed, and I know that I'll have to do this for a while, but I'm hoping that it will get them into better habits, until can get them back into routine. Some kids' work really improved. Hope it continues!
     
  27. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Oct 18, 2006

    Thanks grade1teacher! I will give this a try; I think sometimes I may expect them to know what their best is (I teach fourth) but I might need to be more specific.
     

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