If your classes have been anything like mine, then you have students that finish work in a wide range of time. One challenge is deciding what to have early finishers do. Busy work is not an option! Anything that my students do in the classroom needs to reflect the rigor and learning that we must fit in our day… not a minute wasted. So… here is the anchor chart that hangs in my classroom to ensure the students have a sense of urgency, are on task, and know what to do when they are finished with an assignment.
The students then need to check their work folder to make sure they have completed all assignments that may need finishing from centers, math, or other times of the day.
Then the students have a few options of what they may do. They may read from the selection of books found in their book boxes. Some of these books are leveled, some are high interest picture books, classroom library books, and school library books. Each child also has a phonics strips ring in their book boxes so they can practice decoding words with the phonics skills we have worked on throughout the year.
If the student feels inspired to write, they may finish or start a piece of writing in their writing journals.
The students may also shop for books in our class library if they have kept their books a few days and have read through them. This of course is a popular option, so only 3 students are allowed to shop at a time. If a student can see the library is full, they must read or write until there is an open spot.
This chart has really helped my class become successful and independent when they have completed an assignment. It takes patience and practice at the beginning of the year, but is sooooo worth it when you no longer hear "I'm DONE!" or "What do I do now?"
What works for early finishers in your classroom?