what to do when kids are done working

Discussion in 'Elementary Education Archives' started by heathers, Jul 18, 2006.

  1. heathers

    heathers Rookie

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    Jul 18, 2006

    Hi I'm new to fourth grade this year, and just wondering if anyone has anyone helpful tips for a smooth, and hopefully not so chatty classroom. I taught first grade last year and my class was extremely chatty. I am wondering if anyone has any advice to at least try to avoid some of the chatter. What do you have fourth graders do when they are all finished with their work? Also I don't want to run my class like a prison, but is it too strict or even realistic to try to have them keep their voices to a whisper while in my class?
     
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  3. ILuvKaliNJay

    ILuvKaliNJay Rookie

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    Jul 18, 2006

    I teach second and I had a very chatty class last year as well. Some activities I plan on having early finishers do this year are the following: Read the room (only 1 at a time, I only have one pointer, work on a class puzzle (located on a back table (only 2 at at time), practice sign language (2 at a time, I plan on putting up a sign lang. chart in a back corner and posting their names around the chart so they can practice signing their names and classmates names, eventually I'll add some common phrases. I also have a sign lang. book and my kids loved to practice from that book last year they always ended up fighting over it, so hopefully having a chart posted will eliminate any bickering!), read an AR book and take an AR test, draw( I have copied and laminated several pics from those drawing books), or complete a word search (I printed several cartoon ones from the internet and also laminated. I'm also hoping to find a few more choices.
     
  4. leslye

    leslye Rookie

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    Jul 18, 2006

    I teach 4th grade and usually they don't have a lot of down time in between, but for the ones who get finished early I have a list of 3 things they can choose to do. 1)Finish other work, 2)Read, 3)Draw. That way they are not getting up and roaming around the room bothering others who are still working. And, I make it clear that there is absolutely no talking.
     
  5. hescollin

    hescollin Fanatic

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    Jul 18, 2006

    Practice math facts. Play math games. Read. Extra reading Ranger Rick, Zoology and etc magazines. Read and record a book. They take it home and let their family listen to it. Whisper Phones, two curved pieces of plastic PVC pipe and a short straigh piece. It will look like a telephone receiver when you get the pieces put together. Students whisper read into one end and they can hear themselves with the other end at their ear.
     
  6. MrsAcord

    MrsAcord Rookie

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    Jul 18, 2006

    I am new this year, but my veteran teaching friends have told me that they have them 1)Write or copy poems in their poetry notebook 2)Read 3)Draw 4)Write questions for a review game before a test 5)Work on other homework Hope this helps!
     
  7. Teach2Inspire

    Teach2Inspire Comrade

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    Jul 18, 2006

    This is my second year teaching, and also my second year teaching 5th grade. I have to say that I have learned a lot from my first year of teaching, especially how I am going to do things differently. When my students finished early, they could work on make-up work, read, or take an AR test. The only problem that I seemed to have is the students really were not reading, but just holding their books open to make me think they were. I stayed away from drawing, because it became distractive to those students who will still working. I often noticed that if the extra activity was fun, they would rush though the assignment and they grade would suffer.
     
  8. michelb366

    michelb366 Comrade

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    Jul 18, 2006

    My kids have the option of reading, writing in their journals, finishing any other work not done, or doing a math activity or puzzle. I also steered clear from drawing as that was all the kids wanted to do. We have art 2-3 times a week, so they have plenty of time for that there as well as in other projects. My math shelf includes "Set" puzzles from the internet, flash cards, those wraps with mult and div, tangrams, etc.
    I don't usually have a lot of time that the kids can do these things, there are so many things to get through!
     
  9. keeley73

    keeley73 Rookie

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    Jul 18, 2006

    I teach third grade and I let them do AR and take a quiz or do accelerated math. They kept their accelerated math folder at their desk so it was always within reach. My first year of teaching I had a chatty class, but now I nip that in the bud quickly. I don't mind whispering as long as it is not distracting others.
     
  10. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    Jul 18, 2006

    They may read, work on other work, study (spelling words, for upcoming tests etc.) or choose a learing center. We are required not to have learning centers and I grudgingly have spent tons of money on the Evan-Moore take it to your seat books. I require them to complete ten activities per quarter. They really don't have tons of work time though. I generally give them 10 minutes at the end of each class to start assignments, and if time allows, a short study hall.
     
  11. nancyb

    nancyb Companion

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    Jul 28, 2006

    Ruth Heller coloring

    I prefer academic activities for early finishers, but everyone needs some just plain fun sometimes. Ruth Heller's coloring books (available at Barnes & Noble, teacher supply stores, maybe your school library) are great for most grade levels. Boys & girls (and I) love them, and they take a lot of time. Kids can keep them in their desks to work on when they have time.
     
  12. loves2teach

    loves2teach Enthusiast

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    I do not expect my students to chat most of the time. We talk a lot at the start of the year about respecting others, and what acceptable voices are. I have them practice, and then if it gets too loud, we go to silence.

    If they finish early, they can study or read. Drawing is too much "fun" and can cause the kids to rush through work sometimes.
     
  13. Special2Me

    Special2Me Rookie

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    Aug 1, 2006

    when you're finished...

    Along with several of the ideas already listed, each one of my students has a "Thinking Folder". This is just a folder that has a variety of BrainTeasers and critical thinking activities in it...these can also be leveled according to specific needs for your students!
     
  14. Ali

    Ali Companion

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    Aug 1, 2006

    I have a bulletin board display titled "Fill Up Your Free Time" with a picture of a gas pump and several folders that I fill with work the kiddos can do if they finish early. I put things in them like: Brain Teasers, Grammar practice, Test Prep, Puzzles... When the kids complete a sheet they put it in a basket and I have a student-checker check them. If they get a star on their paper (all ?s right) they get to put a slip with their name on it in the jar. At the end of each month, I pull a slip and reward the winner with a SMALL prize. It really encourages them to use their time for something other than chatting or sitting & doing nothing.
     
  15. corps2005

    corps2005 Cohort

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    Aug 1, 2006

    I had a T chart in my room. On one side it was "Must" do. The other side was "Can" do. They had to finish all the options under the Must do side before moving onto the fun activities no the Can do side.
     
  16. Mable

    Mable Enthusiast

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    I like the ideas where students use free time to accomplish a "brain building" activity like working on poetry books, journal prompts, brain teasers, take to seat centers, etc. I don't know if I would use coloring sheets in 4th grade though. They are independent workers at this point and can get alot of meaningful learning done....just a thought
     
  17. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    Aug 1, 2006

    Drawing is definitely NOT in my options because that is all they want to do. Now for Literature Journals that the students work on sometimes, they are illustrating scenes. Besides that, I have silent reading (along with the journals), writing prompts, math activities, and sign language. Sometimes students can work in twos in centers. I don't let them talk when working individually, but if they are in pairs in a center, they are talking quietly amongst themselves.

    What are "set" puzzles from the Internet?
     
  18. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Aug 2, 2006

    Check out Mrs. Renz's website (google Mrs. Renz). Mrs. Renz, if you see this, bless you, you have tons of fabulous ideas! I love her Mastery Club, although I haven't used the idea yet, I am considering it this year (she has stated on her site that anyone is free to use the concept as long as proper credit is given). You have to see the site to understand it, but she gives "money" for each idea the students master-and she has a huge list of things to do that are perfect time fillers. It is well worth your time to check it out!

    kcjo
     
  19. Jenni

    Jenni Rookie

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    Aug 2, 2006

    In the class I did my practicum in she would let them do some of the "fun" more controversial stuff. However before I child was allowed to put aside their work and go onto any of it she would look at them. She allowed enough time for inclass assignments so that she would have time to glance over them. If it was right she'd go ahead and star it however if it wasn't she'd hand it back to the student. Also if they rushed through something and she didn't catch it she'd save it and have them bring it home and finish or she'd have them finish it during other "free time". I thought this was a good method. Most inclass activities weren't really done completely independent as they were meant to be practice. Also I will note that this was a third grade class and you might not want to provide that much help to older students or for certain assignments.
     
  20. cberles

    cberles Rookie

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    Aug 2, 2006

    What is a good resource for brain teasers for 2nd grade? I love this idea :) - thanks for sharing!
     
  21. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Aug 2, 2006

    I have a poster in the front of the room that lists things they can do when they are finished (I still can't tell you how many times they ask me what to do even with it there - quickly becoming a new pet peeve). I give them the option to: work on a handwriting sheet, work on the writing composition (we always have one going), read, work on homework, write a letter to a friend to be delivered later, and draw. I have a piece of duck tape hanging from the end of the poster and if/when drawing becomes a problem (rushing to get there) it gets covered.
     
  22. alan1erin

    alan1erin Rookie

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    Aug 2, 2006

    What awesome ideas. I hadn't even thought of down time, but I will def. be using some of these this year, it's my first year too. I can't wait to try them. Thanks!!
     
  23. Miss_J

    Miss_J Habitué

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    Aug 2, 2006

    I had an "I'm Done" list on the white board.
    I would change the assignments as needed and they were listed in order of when they should be done.
    1) Finish morning work (or any other work that needs to be done)
    2) Practice spelling words (or vocab for a subject)
    3) Read, write or draw (I had a lot of artists in my room, so I limited the drawing to art days only)
    This seemed to work well for my 5th grade homeroom last year. They knew where to go and what to do.
    My math class was to grab a skill review sheet from a center and work on it. On occasion, I would allow them to work with one partner on a math game.
     
  24. Mizz Lucy

    Mizz Lucy Guest

    Aug 2, 2006

    Sudoku puzzles may work for grade 2.
    Start with a 4 box instead of 9?
     

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