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
- Grocery Ad Aisle Sort
- Google Maps Destination
- Sending Emails Practice
- Writing Checks Practice
- Recipe Comprehension
- Real World Simulations
GROCERY AD AISLE SORT
I cut out a bunch of random items from grocery ads and put them all together in a bin. Students go through and then sort each item into the correct aisle that they would find it in. You can differentiate by adding or removing aisles to have a wide range of learners participate in this activity.
GOOGLE MAPS DESTINATIONS
For this activity, I have students look up various locations in the community to help them become familiar with their functions. It also helps them pull important information like address, hours, phone number, etc. from the internet.
Once students have gained a better understanding of their community, we expand to different landmarks in the country to improve their geography skills further.
SENDING EMAILS PRACTICE
To provide students with functional email practice, I ask them to send me a properly formatted email letting me know when their task is done. The email needs to be addressed to the right person, have an appropriate subject, greeting, body, and closing. The email must include complete sentences and accurately explain what task they just completed. Many students tend to rush through emails so these specific guidelines encourage them to slow down. Once students are done with this, I also have many email comprehension worksheets ready they can do for further reading comprehension practice.
WRITING CHECKS PRACTICE
This is a fun activity to let creativity thrive. I let my students go “shopping” on a website of my choice. I usually use Amazon or Target, but any website works! They are then given a specific budget and they have to go shopping for something (ex: birthday party, camping supplies, new pet, holiday, etc.). Students have to navigate the website and add the items to their cart. To “pay” for their purchases, they fill out blank checks.
Let’s face it – food is a huge motivator in almost any classroom. I like to use this to my advantage by including a large variety of recipe worksheets students can pull from when they finish early. Students pick a recipe of their choice and then answer the comprehension questions.
REAL WORLD SIMULATIONS
Students love anything that looks like a game and these simulations look just like that! When students click on the link they are given, they can practice important life skills like paying for items. Cooking, using a keypad, doing laundry, ordering food, and much more! These activities provide immediate feedback and are a great way to make learning fun and motivating!