Monday, 25 August 2014

I'm Done, Now What???

"I'm done!" Don't you just love that grammatically questionable sentence? It always tends to erupt from the silence at the most inconvenient times - while I've just opened my first copy to correct, while I'm trying to explain to a child the intricacies of a three step word problem through diagram while they stare at me like I've developed three heads get my drift. Last year, I had the brilliant but challenging experience of teaching two classes in one room (3rd and 4th) and I knew from day one that I needed to enforce a system for early finishers that would be as stress free as possible. Now, I'm not claiming that I never heard "Teacher, I'm finished!" (there's always one!), but pointing to the wall on which I had these activities mounted almost became second nature in response to "Teach..." and it was much easier than having to list out possible activities when I was snowed under.

The early finisher activities I used included:

1. Imir Cluiche Biongó: I have two of these in my classroom one based on "Bia" and one based on "Eadaí", you can find them here or I'm sure you could make them yourself and laminate the boards and flashcards. They love playing these in small groups at the back of the classroom.
2. Write a poem/story on a template.

3. Read a library book.

4. Take a worksheet from the box.

5. Take a tricky Maths card.

6. Play a game on the computer: There was a list of names stuck on to the computer. Each child could only have one go per day and tick themselves off the list. I had only a few games open on the browser each day such as BBC Bitesize Ks2 and Cool Maths Games (Note: on Google Chrome you can save pages to open every time you open your browser *this link shows you how to do it*). Anseo Net allows you to download cluichí as Gaeilge to put on your desktop. You could also focus on games linked to topics being taught by having them all use a particular website/software for a certain amount of time and then change it more frequently. 

7. Play a Silly Word Game: These are oral language games which involve working as a group on timed oral language challenges. 

8. Make some tricky Maths problems for others to solve and put into the Maths box.

9. Sort lollipop sticks with verbs, adjectives and nouns written on them into the correct tubs. 

I found as the year progressed, children were less enthusiastic about some activities so I offered group points as rewards for completing particularly challenging early finisher activities. I also offered prizes every so often for the person who had completed the most worksheets/maths cards/whichever activity I wanted them to focus on in particular that month. It also is worth noting that I had a big basket for them to put their completed worksheets/poems/etc into so that they were all in one place for me to correct. 

I hope these ideas were helpful and let me know if you have any other exciting early finisher activities for Senior Classes!

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