Early finishers on assignments is always bound to happen. This can cause some stress on the classroom teacher in regard to what do your students do next. We are going to give you our top five ways to engage those early finishers.
We don’t care what anyone says. Reading is still the fundamental building block to success later in life. This should ALWAYS be a choice for students when they finish an assignment early regardless of the subject. You need to have a classroom library that has a wide variety of genres. It is always a good idea to give your students a reading inventory at some point during the school year to find out their interests. Then, it is your job to stack your library with those types of books. We use our Scholastic Book Club bonus points to do this. Having an expansive classroom library is a great way to engage your students.
If you want a great tool for students to use that measures their growth and challenges your students on Common Core concepts in both Math and ELA then Freckle is for you! This is a free subscription where you can register all the students in your class and then you are given a class password that the students will need to login with. The best thing about this resource is that it is adaptive which means as students answer questions,the program adjusts to the students’ level! Another great part is the pig! Yes, students can earn coins and then buy items for their cartoon pig. Sounds corny right? Well, it isn’t even for 5th graders! Kids will be begging you to use this when they finish early.
3. Subject-Related Choice
If students finish a math assignment early, have a math game to practice the skill ready to go! Most textbooks include these options now. They might take a little prep work, but then that is done for the following years. If your students have ipads or mobile devices Educreations is a great app to use. Students can use their fingers and write out problems for their classmates to solve. Students love it!
If students finish a science or social studies assignment early, have choice options that allow the students to dig deeper into what they are learning. There are some great kids research tools out there such as: Encyclopedia Britannica for kids, and Explora as well. These are teacher trusted websites that students can freely use without supervision.
Here is another engaging website that covers all of the math common core standards in a fun and engaging way. Prodigy has content from all major topics and will seamlessly cover Grades 1 – 8 to help ensure your students are ready for standardized testing. With a diagnostic test to place students in the correct grade, embedded assessments, and automatic differentiation, Prodigy ensures that each one of your students succeed at their own pace. Prodigy is free for teachers to sign up. It is easy to add students to your class. Each student is given a unique username and password. Students can also play the game from home.
5. Genius Hour!
Genius Hour is a time for ALL students to learn about something that interests them. This learning takes place during the school day.
Each student has a passion; a deep down desire to learn and research about something that is of interest. It is our job as educators to find that passion and to give our students time to explore and research about what they are excited about.
To get Genius Hour started in the classroom, click here to find an amazing resource that will guide you through the process with your students! It has everything you need to get started!
We would love to hear what you have students do when they finish early. Make sure to check out our other blog posts on how to engage your students throughout the year.