When students are done with their work?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by iamlynn98, Jun 8, 2009.

  1. iamlynn98

    iamlynn98 Rookie

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    Jun 8, 2009

    Hello everyone!

    I lurk a lot but don't post often! :p

    Currently I teach sixth grade (probably will next year as well) and I am looking for something for the students that finish work quickly to do when they are done. I already have "Not Done Folders" that they put any work they haven't finished when we need to move on. However, lots of times the early finishers either don't have any "Not Done Work" or have finished it already.

    I am looking for some brain teasers or something to keep them engaged while others catch up. I don't really want just busy work, but challenging (on many different ability levels) puzzles etc.

    Does anyone have and ideas about what they do or would be willing to share some examples of work they use for these students? Thank you for any and all help you can offer! :)

    iamlynn98
     
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  3. cmgeorge626

    cmgeorge626 Companion

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    Jun 8, 2009

    Carson-Dellosa has a book called Finished Already? that has meaningful activities for kids that finish early. You can find the 5-6th grade version on Amazon.com

    Also, I found this article on Scholastic.com

    http://www2.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=3748222

    In my room, we have the option of reading books and taking AR tests on them, playing a file folder game, or doing a paper from the "extra shelf" (which is just extra papers that they've already done). You'd think the last one sounded boring, but they loved it!
     
  4. Missy99

    Missy99 Connoisseur

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    My students also read for AR. The other option is to work (silently) on whatever current research paper is due or to do higher-level math problems.

    I don't have "attractive" options available for early finishers, because many of them actually rush through work in order to do something else.
     
  5. Pencil Monkey

    Pencil Monkey Devotee

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    The only options I offer are to work on unfinished work or read a book. I figure by offering more attractive options my students will rush. Besides my students do not read on their own spare time. I also offer for kids to work in pairs on math facts flashcards. I do not allow students to draw or color, they must be engaged in something academic period.

    I used to offer extra mind benders and puzzles to work on but I found that my students were more interested in doing those than actually doing the assignments. It also put additional pressure on me to make sure I had copies on hand all the time or to explain how to do one of them. I just don't have the paper or time to stand over the copier and make so many dittos. Then of course the kids would want those graded too. It became a never ending cycle. Maybe it will work out better for you than it did for me.
     
  6. tgim

    tgim Habitué

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    Reading and taking AR tests, finishing work, or writing in their writing notebook are options that I have had success with. I try to have one seasonal writing option for them, such as a homemade tree w/ leaves that are really writing prompts. (For independent or silent reading, I am currently looking for response activities that will be a written record of something they read. I am considering using a one subject notebook when they are 10 cents each later this summer to have them record what they are reading, and to use for a written response. Too many kids just waste this time, so I want to find a way to hold them accountable. :2cents:)
     
  7. iamlynn98

    iamlynn98 Rookie

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    Well, I work in a lower income school. As a math, science, and social studies teacher I don't get any school owned books to let them read. I do have a few (about 5) that I own, but most of my books are lower level (I never thought I would teach upper elementary). I always want them to read and that is an option I give them, but they can't read a book if they don't have one and I can't loan them one I don't have! :(

    Thanks for all the wonderful and helpful replies so far! I knew I can count on you guys! :)

    iamlynn98
     
  8. Teacher Chele

    Teacher Chele Habitué

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    I love your idea of seasonal writing prompts when the kids are done with their work!! I also think the reading record/journal is a great idea. We are doing away with AR this year:( and I'll be in the same boat of looking for things for them to do. I want them to be doing some type of reading journal.
     
  9. Pencil Monkey

    Pencil Monkey Devotee

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    Do you have a goodwill near you? You can get tons of used paper back books for super cheap.
     
  10. mrsleapfrog

    mrsleapfrog Companion

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    What about book clubs? I implemented this idea this year and it worked great. You can have your early finishers be in one group and so on.
     
  11. iamlynn98

    iamlynn98 Rookie

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    Thanks guys for all the great ideas!! I knew I could count on you. :)
     
  12. frogger

    frogger Devotee

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    Jun 9, 2009

    Read a book - SSR and I also got them packets of work either for extra credit or when you are done this is something you can do and found things that were fun but still reinforced their skills.
     
  13. runnerss

    runnerss Comrade

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    I am all about critical thinking activities! I love Word Winks. There is a picture and you have to figure out the saying based on the pic. It takes some thinking. I also like to do number circuits. I like to do things that kids enjoy, but build skills. I want them to be excited about the activity so that they will stay on task while others are finishing.
     
  14. runnerss

    runnerss Comrade

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    Also, kids may want to do these activities and some might rush through their work to do these. However, I keep extra copies of assignments of whatever we are working on. If someone rushes and doesn't do their best I say " oh I am so sorry, it doesn't seem you did your best. That's ok let me give you a new sheet so you can try again." Kids learn very quickly that if they rush then they won't get to do the fun activity but will have to redo the assignment.
     
  15. love_reading

    love_reading Comrade

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    Jun 10, 2009

    I know my grade level is very different from yours, but when my students finish their work they must complete their work folder (unfinished work from previous assignments) or read. This year I am going to give them a third option of working on a story from their writing folders. Would something like that be feasible so that you do not have to mess with paper work?
     
  16. CFClassroom

    CFClassroom Connoisseur

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    Jun 10, 2009

    silent reading of books at their level is very valuable for them and easy for you.
     
  17. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Jun 10, 2009

    When I taught, students were allowed to finish work in their folder they had not finished before, read a library book, or brainstorm writing ideas in their journals, or organize their notebooks.
     

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