We all have those students in our classes who finish a task we designated 30 minutes for in 10 minutes. These early finishers benefit from having specific structures in place so they know exactly what to do once they have correctly completed their work.
PROVIDE THEM WITH CHOICES AND MEANINGFUL WORK
It is extremely important to provide these students with the power of CHOICE. By ultimately giving them the choice to pick an activity to do after they have finished their previous one, they are more willing to complete it because they have a variety of options to choose from. I also make sure to give my students work that is meaningful to them in these choice options so they can see value and merit in completing it. By relating these choices back to their real world, students are more willing to buy into this classroom management strategy.
Here is a sample rotation option you can use in your classroom
- Online Recipe “Shopping”
- Life Skills Coloring Pages
- Grocery Ad Meal Planning
- Vocational Work Orders
- Online Scavenger Hunt
- Typing Practice
For this activity, provide students with a link to an online recipe site. I like to use www.allrecipes.com but you can use any recipe site you like. Students navigate to find a recipe they would enjoy making. Once they have found the recipe, they can go to a website like www.walmart.com and practice “shopping” for the ingredients to make that recipe. By doing this lesson, students are exposed to functional vocabulary, online technology skills, sorting through search results, and understanding prices of items as well. Once the students have added the items to the cart, they do not checkout. Instead, they send me a screenshot of their items through email to me to confirm they did the work correctly.
LIFE SKILLS COLORING PAGES
This activity provides a unique twist on traditional coloring pages by adding a life skills themed twist! I have copies of my no prep coloring pages ready to go for students to complete. These coloring pages come in a variety of real world themes, and even include comprehension worksheets that directly have students engage with the worksheet they just colored. The questions make sure students are pulling meaningful information from the functional topics presented.
Next time you get some grocery ads in the mail, make sure to save them for your classroom! For this rotation, students can grab a grocery ad, paper, scissors and glue to complete a meal planning activity. Students decide what they would like to cook and then try and find the ingredients using the ad. You can differentiate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They then cut out each item and glue it onto the sheet. At the end, they are asked to total it up using the dollar up strategy.
I love using my NO PREP Complete the Order units to have students work on real world reading, job skills, and accuracy they will need on a job site. I assign a themed one weekly into my Google Classroom. You can also share a copy directly by emailing it to your student as well.
ONLINE SCAVENGER HUNT
Although many of our students are familiar with the internet and like to browse it for items they might be interested in buying, they often struggle looking for SPECIFIC things they are likely unfamiliar with. This is why I make sure to include my Online Scavenger Hunts as part of my rotation options because it forces students to slow down, carefully read the description of items, so that they can make sure they are purchasing the right thing. Once I had my students “shop” for a 4 person tent for a fake camping trip. I had one student who always liked buying the cheapest thing available. Turns out he only bought the tent stakes. Woops. This is the perfect lesson to practice this very important real world skill.
Finally, typing practice is a simple and functional skill to get our students real world ready (both at home and in a workplace setting). Being able to accurately and efficiently type is important because we live in a very digital world where most communication is online. I love to use a site called www.typeracer.com because it makes typing a game. Students “race” against other online users to see who can win. It is highly motivating for my students to see their car moving across the screen and to receive immediate feedback on how their typing is going.
For more targeted typing practice, I like to use www.typingweb.com. It provides students with FREE modules that target different typing skills. This is a great way to track progress as well 🙂