Really smart kids... ???

Discussion in 'Third Grade' started by Newto3rd, Aug 5, 2009.

  1. Newto3rd

    Newto3rd Companion

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    What do you do when they finish so quickly?? I haven't created my "I'm Through...What do I do?" list yet. I hate to always have them read quietly at their seat. I feel like it's a cop-out.

    I usually have brainteasers, books, flashcards, etc. for them to complete. Any great ideas to stretch the ones that are allllllllways finished early? I know they need to be challenged.
     
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  3. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    Send them to me. ;) They'd be scared to eternity and would beg to come back to you. :lol: (See 4th Grade Advanced Teacher on my title)

    Okay, as that is obviously impossible, I have them do Cranium Commanders (http://teachingvision.org/cranium) (similar to Mrs. Renz's Mastery Club), silent read, write in journals, work with dry-erase math cards from Lakeshore (though they cost a pretty penny), and complete brain teasers. They can also visit interactive websites online every once in a while.
     
  4. newbie23

    newbie23 Comrade

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    My 2nd grade ST assignment used independent reading contracts. It was a great way to differentiate as I was able to put different worksheets, graphic organizers, activities, etc. in each packet and students could use them with a book appropriate for their reading level. Very rarely did I set aside class-time specifically for this except when I first introduced them. It was more of a "keep in your desk" sort of activity. These were a great way for me to help keep track of what my students were self-selecting for reading and the students enjoyed being able to do work with different genres.
     
  5. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    I was going to say couldn't they start working on an AR book or something. That's what even my early finishers in 1st did.
     
  6. Newto3rd

    Newto3rd Companion

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  7. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

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    Could you just create a choice board of projects they could work on when finished? Of course these projects should extend whatever they are doing in class. When you make the choice board, make sure to make rubrics for each project as well.
    If you have internet access in your room, you could have them do various webquests as some of the choices on the choice board.
     
  8. nattles19

    nattles19 Comrade

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    I also do Mastery Club. I highly recommend Googling it to find out more! I find my gifted students really enjoy the extra challenge, and the element of choice keeps it engaging.
     
  9. newbie23

    newbie23 Comrade

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    I was also one of those "smart kids" and I remember I hated being the "go to" or "expert." Sometimes when teachers were busy, they'd say, "If you have any questions please ask Student A, B, or C and they'll be able to help" without ever asking us. I also didn't like having a "busy work" tray to go to.

    Things I did enjoy:

    What is it? Provide a few objects in a basket and have students guess about what they may be used for. Provide hints throughout the week that may help students and also allow them to submit a yes or no question each day or week. This is a really great activity for the whole-class but I find that higher end students really have the curiousity that makes it fun for a longer period of time whereas some other students get into it for a week and then get bored. I find antiques to put in my bin, cooking gadgets, contact lense plungers (for the old reuseable kind), etc. work really well.

    Lateral thinking puzzles also are great and students can work with a partner to figure them out.

    I also have conferenced with higher end students and asked them what activities they would enjoy doing more of, how I can make an assignment more challenging for them, and simply what they're interested in learning more of. The advanced students typically want to learn and if you give them an extension assignment even for extra credit or to earn a prize from the prize chest, it really motivates them. I like giving them the chance to do independent inquiry and research.

    Also, in differentiation, think about those Bloom's Taxonomy tasks. It's a great way to provide them with an assignment that challenges them a bit more but it still on target with what the entire class is learning so no one feels left out.
     
  10. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    Maybe they can also take graph paper and make crossword puzzles, word searches, or draw out shapes to find the area of them. They could make brochures if they desire, too, about any place of interest to them.

    My advanced students also love making PowerPoints and recording podcasts. I definitely give them a broad choice, but not so broad it's overwhelming. I was very bored in school at times as a child, and I loved being able to write stories, yet it was my choice. :)
     
  11. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    Oh, yes, I forgot. This may excite you a little; it excites me.

    I have a classroom theme, Jasztalville, and I am setting up a system (when kids have free time) to add to my Department of Tourism. I am going to have about ten options or so.

    - Come up with an imaginary theme park ride.
    - Create a brochure based on a virtual website online.
    - Design/describe/sketch out a floor plan for your own museum.
    - Come up with your own daredevil nature adventure.
    - Write/sketch out your own zoo exhibit.

    I am coming up with more.

    This will be in addition to-
    - Cranium Commanders
    - Silent Reading/Journaling
    - Math Brain Teasers
    - Take a Reading Counts Test
    - Practice spelling, vocabulary, etc.
    - Make your own math brain teaser/math problem cards (Questions on the front, answers on the back) (I'll have a box for it)

    OR you could trick them BIG-TIME and have them design a comic strip. They'll think they're drawing for the heck of it!! YET in actuality, they'll be developing a storyline/characters. Muhahahahaha. :clap:

    Sounds like a lot, but kids never get bored and they could virtually do a different thing every day for a month and then revert to something they haven't done in a while.
     
  12. newbie23

    newbie23 Comrade

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    Great Ideas Ms. Jasztal!

    I really like your classroom theme. I hope to have a theme next year but am a little overwhelmed by it this year and since I just got my board approval last night... I'm just trying to keep my head above water and doggy-paddle.

    Great idea for next year though. I think I could also use some of your ideas this year even without an "established" theme.
     
  13. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    Hey, go for it! :) I'm REALLY excited about this, and kids will feel excited (I believe) when they're contributing to something I'll always have in the classroom.
     
  14. teachertexas

    teachertexas Rookie

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    Aug 9, 2009

    I keep hanging baggies that have activities that kids can do at their seats. I call them Brain Work.

    I have some of those 9 square puzzles that are pretty difficult.

    Last year the biggest hit was the Klutz book on string games like Cat's Cradle with a string. At the beginning of the year they really struggled with it, but by the end most of the kids could do it without looking at the pictures in the book.

    I also have some Brainquest cards and a few other games.

    Altogether, there are 9 - 10 baggies. I would like to add a few more this year. I like that they are not paper/pencil and I don't have to copy anything. Also, they are independent and quiet so they don't disturb other kids who are working. Plus the kids wanted to use them!
     
  15. Deb06

    Deb06 Companion

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    There is a website I found that has awesome task cards for early finishers. The teacher's name is Mrs. Griffin and she created the cards for third graders. There are math task cards, computer task cards, writing task cards etc.

    If you click on her site, you will find the links on the left menu.

    http://www.jologriffin.com/index.cfm
     
  16. passionateacher

    passionateacher Comrade

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    Deb,
    Thanks so much for that link. I love looking thru all those links and even saving some of them to use this year!
     
  17. MissKH81

    MissKH81 Rookie

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    Aug 20, 2009

    This is fantastic. Can't wait to print and laminate them. Thanks for posting this
     
  18. ZookeeperVA

    ZookeeperVA Rookie

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    Aug 22, 2009

    I like giving students a lot of choices when they finish early and have found that they enjoy writing their own stories both fiction and non-fiction and then creating a book cover with construction paper.

    Another project kids enjoy is to be part of the "Classroom Paper" and they get to write articles, take pictures for articles, edit articles, and format the paper on the computer using Publisher or some other similar program.

    Another thing students like to do is to choose a research project like a report on a famous person, place or thing relevant to what the class is studying. Sometimes this report can be integrated with the newspaper project.

    Students who enjoy reading will like being part of a book club or literature circle and this usually works out well when you have those same 3-6 students who are always done first because they know they can just meet with their book club when they finish.
     
  19. Mrs. Mom

    Mrs. Mom Cohort

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    Aug 23, 2009

    Can you tell me more about your cranium commanders? Did you come up with all of that on your own? I'd love to figure out how to do something like that for a third grade classroom. Can you give me tips on how to get started???? This is absolutely awesome!
     
  20. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    Aug 23, 2009

    Ms. Jasztal, I also had a question on your cranium commanders--do you have the kids write out the answers, report to you, or something else? I'm just trying to figure out the day-to-day workings of it before I get it started with my kids.
     

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