Making Sure Early Finishers Are Never Finished
A key to a well-managed classroom is making sure ALL students have something constructive to do at ALL times. Sounds obvious, and yet a lot of times students are off task because they have no task. This is especially common when some students finish an activity before the rest of the class has finished it. That's why it's important to include "early finisher" expecations as part of your plan for any class activity--and to include those expectations in writing on the assignment sheet, board, or projector screen.
As for specific early finisher activities, one of my students' favorites was the math game "24"--I kept cards in my tool belt, and handed them out as students finished an assignment, quiz, etc. Other options include extension activities related to the current topic, brain teasers, journal writing, and silent reading. Whatever you choose, just be sure it's meaningful/challenging--no inane busy work (down with "word searches," especially for older kids).
What about you? Please share activities and resources you've used to make sure students are on task rather than without a task.
Image by Kellyoptra, provided by Dreamstime license
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