What to do with the "Early Finishers"

Here are a few suggestions from eMINTS teachers about what to do with early finishers . . .

Maybe I am influenced by my position, but any time has open could be spent reading. Nothing boosts reading ability like practice, practice, and more practice. Plus, students often jump at the chance to have a little R & R time when required tasks are complete. How better to combine R & R with an enormously beneficial activity? (And, they are SO quiet while others work!)
Joyce Webb, Peculiar
  The (early finishers can) become class experts and help others with problems.
Pam Gow, Lebanon
  I always brainstorm with my class at the beginning of each year of things we can do whenever we finish our work. I make a class chart that hangs on the wall all year. That way they have something to refer to. On my chart we have a read, finish a project, study, finish homework. Then on Fridays they can add drawing to the list. It seems to work.
Tawn Mitchell, Blair Oaks
  Silence is golden for students to finish other assigned work. Several suggestion would be reading books. and practice spelling on computer. If they are in a challenge program maybe have them work on their challenge assignments.
Tara Kelley, RayPec
  I developed an extra time project called Country of the Week. It was on my website and when students were all finished and had my permission, they were allowed to work on their Country of the Week. The link to the webpage is http://emints4.purdy.k12.mo.us/country.htm. I don't have that problem as much this year, so I have not been updating it. It usually ended up being more like three weeks to a month before students had enough time to make a presentation. If we had time, I would show the completed presentation with a food from that country. I guess I should probably change it to The Country of the Month. It really didn't take that long to change each week or so, since there are eThemes on most countries.
Cindy Burnside, Purdy

When I was in a regular eMINTS classroom I had a couple of really bright students who always finished things early and correctly and they were so good at some of their projects such as PowerPoints that I actually had them create things for me that I could use in my teaching. They created a wonderful PowerPoint on all of the presidents and then sometimes they would take my science manual and with a little guidance from me they would create things to go along with our lessons. They created many wonderful and useful tools for me and took great pride in being able to do something special to help the teacher. Those type of students can also be a great resource for your school to go out and help other teachers with their computers and technology.
Kerry Welch, Republic

  Some webquests have built-in extension projects. If not, you could make up your own related project - a poster, brochure, or historical fiction or nonfiction "book" using the content information. Or - you could let them be computer technicians and teach "tricks" to other groups and help with technical questions - or teach them a "trick" you don't teach the whole class (narrating their powerpoint, for example) and let them really spice up their project. Good luck!
Tobi Layton, Zalma R5


Center School District
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November 17, 2005

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