The "fast finishers" will have three activities to choose from whenever they finish an assignment early.
1. Work on Unfinished Work: My students always have an unfinished work folder in their desk. This is where they keep any assignments that still need to be completed. One year I called these folders "work in progress" folders but it was just too euphemistic for me-it's unfinished work. If they have unfinished work, options 2 and 3 are not really options for them. That is, they have to work on their unfinished work because the goal is to get caught up. If a student does not have any unfinished work, they may choose option 2 or 3.
2. Complete a "Fast Finisher" Activity- I am going to have a variety of activities set aside in magnetic file boxes that students can work on whenever they finish something early. I plan to hang the file boxes on the side of my bookshelf for easy access. So far, I plan to include the following activities: a calendar page, a book order activity, and take it to your seat Boggle. I am still on the hunt for one or two more things.
3. Choose a Book and Read Silently-If the students don't have any unfinished work, and they don't feel like doing option #2, they may choose a book from our classroom library and read.
I have used this system for years, but option 2 usually changes year to year. This year, it was work on "Explode the Code," a phonics book I prepared for each student. A few years ago, it was a math book that I made for them. That made for a lot of photocopying, pages ripping off, etc, so I'm a little excited about next year's option.
What do you have your students do when they finish an assignment early?