One of the most dreaded questions in my mind, is "Miss Berman, I'm done, what can I do now??" If you're a teacher, I'm sure you've heard this before. Before we start any activity, I often list options on the board on what they can do if they finish early. This past year, I even had a shelf with multiple options. This shelf had no less then 9 activities that all students can do independently. There were cross word puzzles, word searches, math games, reading games, flash cards ect. At the beginning of the year, we took the time to explore all the activities and have the students become familiar with them. No matter how many times I told the students what they can do, I still heard that dreaded question.
After being moved to fifth grade, I was speaking with another teacher on my team. She told me she created "Anchoring Activities Across the Mind" These activities are basically different options of activities students can work on when they finish their work early. However these are a little different. They are based around students different interests and all of the activities are rich in learning. When I was looking at her packet of her ideas, I tweaked some, added some, but kept many! These activities range from playing math games to researching your favorite artists and creating a multi-media presentation. With such a wide range of activities, I'm hoping my dreaded question will go away. (Even though, I know it won't!) I'm going to place the options of activities in an ideal location.. maybe that will help!? (Wishful thinking right?)
In order to make sure the students are invested into these anchoring activities, I am going to take the time to introduce them slowly at the beginning of the year. I think I am even going to take a few minutes each day to have the students practice working on some of these rich learning activities. Throughout the year, I am going to add more activities, based on student interest. In order for that dreaded question to go away, the students have to be invested in the activities, they have to feel comfortable doing them independently, and they have to enjoy them. My goal is by the end of the year to have that dreaded question go away. What do all of you do, when your students finish early? Does it work?
Below are different sites about Early Finisher Activities!
My new Anchoring Activity across the Mind Posters!