When students finish early....

Discussion in 'Middle School / Junior High' started by perplexed, Feb 20, 2013.

  1. perplexed

    perplexed Comrade

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    Feb 20, 2013

    What are some activities you have students do when they finish about five-ten minutes early before class ends?

    I have a list students can pick from, but nobody is choosing any of them. I think I need other ideas related to literacy or to rethink how to get students to take it upon themselves to pick something and quietly work on their own while I finish up working with other students.

    Here is what I have on the list on an anchor chart paper since the beginning of the year, but now students are sort of bored with them or not following my expectation :

    Read independently (I have tons of books--maybe I should get magazines?)
    Listen to a book on a playaway (probably takes too long to get setup)
    Bananagrams
    Practice sight words
    Writing activity
    Practice reading aloud (play with a partner)
    Website (I have a list)
    Word game--ones that are similar Boggle

    I have this list, but students don't pick any of them and just want to wait those five minutes. Some days they are quiet and wait, so I don't make a big deal of it and some days they want to stand around and play with each other, so then that's when I have told them they HAD to pick something NOW and sit down. I don't want them bothering the students still working. I would like my students to work on reading the entire time.

    Not sure if I need different activities, less choices, or need to stay consistent with my expectation. Or everything. What works in your classroom?
     
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  3. Mrs. H2O

    Mrs. H2O Rookie

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    Feb 21, 2013

    I like having a packet of reading comprehension/vocabulary work ready to go. It takes them a few days to finish, so they keep it in their folders. I always list it as an assignment on our agenda, after the other activities for the day. Most students will pull it out and start working. I remind those that don't. Oh, and the packet is for a grade.
     
  4. dannyboy

    dannyboy Companion

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    Mar 7, 2013

    Magazines-car, gossip, Nat. Geog., Time
    crosswords, sudoku, word puzzles
     
  5. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    Mar 7, 2013

    That isn't so much an issue with the activities than classroom management. Since when does NOT choosing one become an option? Sure, you might want to switch up activities or add new ones, but it all eventually boils down to YOU being in charge, so they suck it up and do it. They don't have to want to, but they have to do it anyway.
     
  6. Aussiegirl

    Aussiegirl Habitué

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    Mar 10, 2013

    I googled for ideas once and came up with a great pack of ideas. I'll pm you with them. I can't seem to come up with the right search at the moment, or I'd send you to the site. I have used many of them through the year as bellwork just to wake up my 8th graders brains, and the kids have been great about not telling their friends what to expect.
     
  7. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Mar 10, 2013

    Whatever activities you choose, just be careful that they're not more entertaining than your assigned activities. I've seen it in the past where students will rush through their work or a test just so that they could play a game or do something "fun". There are obviously some problems with that.
     
  8. Ms.History

    Ms.History Rookie

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    Jul 23, 2013

    I would love a copy of this too, if you don't mind! :)
     
  9. CFClassroom

    CFClassroom Connoisseur

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    Jul 23, 2013

    I'm not sure which grade you teach, but I always suggest independent reading. It needs no instruction or assistance and is not so desirable (to most) that they rush through assignments to get to it. :)
     
  10. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Jul 23, 2013

    My last activity of the day is usually a collaborative/cooperative one. If they finish 5 minutes early, and they're all cleaned up, I usually don't mind if they just chat for the last five minutes.

    I will try to fit in a discussion of the last activity we've just did, but if that's already been done, we'll just sit and talk.

    I have Nat Geos and a list of things they can do, plus extra credit projects they can work on, but more often than not, they just want to talk to each other or me, and if they've worked hard the entire period, I'm usually inclined to let them.

    If I'm ten minutes early, that gets uncomfortable though so we'll do review or something for the last five minutes.
     

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