Teacher I'm Done...What do I do? Simple Solutions so you Don't Hear that Question.

 Click to view   Another blog post made me want to write about what I do on this current topic. As teachers we are well aware of how some students work at different speeds. Last year I had many students who worked quickly (and this year, well not so much). My whole classroom management system actually takes care of this issue wonderfully. To begin, students have an unfinished box where unfinished work goes. They know that once they finish something early, they check that box (work in that box goes home at the end of the day as homework). If there is nothing in there, they get to do whatever free-choice activity they are currently allowed to do. Let me explain:
   A fellow teacher at my school painted a tree on my classroom wall. Each student has a laminated monkey in which they begin their day on the green leaf on the tree. According to their behavior, the move up or down the tree. Each leaf allows them a new free-choice activity when they have completed all of their in-class work. Here are the leaves with their appropriate activity: first (sit anywhere-no extra activity so if all their work is finished, they can read); second (draw or color); third (play-doh and whiteboard); fourth (computer); fifth (certificate home).
   Since the placement of their monkeys on the tree dictates what they can do when all work is finished, there is no need to ask, "what do I do now?" This, of course, takes time for the kids to learn, but once they catch on to it, it is very helpful. The free-choice activities can obviously be modified to fit your class, but my kids love these activities. :)