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"I'm finished! What should I do now?
Old 09-06-2019, 12:45 PM
 
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I am teaching a 7th grade elective this year - it's all brainteasers/mindbuilders/critical thinking puzzles. One of my students was in my advanced 6th grade math class last year. He's a nice kid but drives me INSANE with "I'm done - now what should I do?" He goes ahead of me ALL the time while the other kids in the class are listening and trying to work out the puzzles. He did the exact same thing last year in math class. He's a smart boy, but he loves to show off by letting everyone know he's already finished. I would expect that from a primary student, but 7th grade? I really want to come up with some snarky comment to shut him up or give him something WAY harder that I know he can't possibly finish. The other kids just roll their eyes at him. My patience for him is about done and it's only the 3rd week of school!!!!


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Old 09-06-2019, 12:51 PM
 
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Does he have a library book with him? Maybe he could pull out a book to read until itís time to move on to the next thing?
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Old 09-06-2019, 01:02 PM
 
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I don't know what kind of "puzzles" your class is working on, but perhaps Showoff could create his own when he finishes early. Have you ever talked with him privately about why he feels the need to let everyone know how wonderful he is? Seems kind of immature to me. I taught fourth and fifth graders that did stuff like that.
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Old 09-06-2019, 01:20 PM
 
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I was that kid. If he is finishing early and doing the work correctly, he needs more challenging work. Not busy work...just something more advanced. Or, he needs an alternative activity that is engaging and worthwhile to do when he is done. Reading is a good choice.

Since you have to manage everyone else in the classroom too, I think either find a higher level book of activities that he can do independently when finished, or have him bring a library book or other activity to do.

You can have a nonverbal signal so he can show you he is done (something as simple as putting the paper upside down on the corner of his desk), and then he can transition to the activity you have agreed upon. Be sure to have a conversation about how you expect him to do this. Then when he makes his announcement, you just say, “How are you supposed to let me know you are finished?” And “What are you supposed to do next?”

Kids like that spend a lot of time twiddling their thumbs while everyone else catches up. It’s boring and frustrating for them.
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Have you checked out...
Old 09-06-2019, 02:16 PM
 
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Have you checked out Kahn Academy? I haven't looked at it in a long time but I think it's still free. There were so many different courses at all different levels. At one time I know teachers would assign the lessons as homework and class time was spent reinforcing the previous night's lesson.



Last edited by RetiredKat; 09-06-2019 at 09:59 PM..
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Old 09-06-2019, 07:02 PM
 
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I like to give "smarty-pants types" something very deep thinking because it usually slows them down as they think, think and sometimes over think the possibilities.

I dont teach kids that big but one thing I thought of was logical facilities-I doubt he could zip through this type of work by then of the period. Then he will be busy and you can enjoy the rest of the class. One thing though-those with a very "look at me, look at me, superiority complex are often often compensating. He may have a low self image in another area (sounds like he isnt exactly hitting it out of the park socially with his peer group for example).

TPT has a TON of free logical fallacy stuff
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Old 09-07-2019, 06:31 AM
 
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I agree that most teachers don't like that kind of "smart" kid. Let's see...

If you had him last year (for the 1st time, I assume?) what did you do back then to keep him busy? Just give him harder of that same thing.

I would have had a thorough talk with him (back last year) as soon as he started doing this by saying things like, "Do you like having friends OR do you want friends (if he doesn't really have any)?" Hopefully he says yes. Then go on about how kids don't enjoy a show-off, etc. all the time because it makes you appear arrogant. Use that term because "smarty pants" should know the definition. I would have kind fo drilled that kind of talk into him every few mos...not just a 1-time little talk at the start of the year and that's it. Use good psychology on him in hopes that he wants to be liked by others, but his ways will prevent that if he keeps on.

Also, every time he's finished when there's especially still a good amount of time, can he go to some other classrooms and help out that teacher and/or their kids with stapling papers, making copies, cleaning up, reading with the younger kids, etc.

Maybe when he's done so fast with things, he can clean up something in YOUR room. Kids don't like chores usually so maybe if he knows he has to clean up something for finishing classwork so fast, hopefully, he'll take his time with classwork more. But if he likes chores, at least your room will be tidier!
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Smart kid
Old 09-07-2019, 08:16 AM
 
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I agree with Lisa53. Give him higher level work that will truly challenge him, and be glad you have such a bright child to teach. Here's a puzzle that only two of my HS students persisted in completing successfully. (It was not for a grade but just for fun.) They both later became math majors and HS teachers.

DONALD
+GERALD
_______
ROBERT

D=5 Find the numerical value of each letter from 0 to 9.
Hint: T=0

Sorry, DONALD and GERALD should be directly above and below each other, in alignment. And I wasn't able to move "Robert" up to where it should be positioned, but I hope you and your student get the idea.
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What about
Old 09-07-2019, 02:47 PM
 
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Expert level Sudoku puzzles? He can complete them independently, and you can print a whole book of them for free from the Sudoku site.
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Nope! I would not allow that even in elem.
Old 09-07-2019, 03:51 PM
 
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When you have kids like that, you need to have what I call brainwork. It needs to be done in written form.
I know 40% of the kids will never get to it. Most will start it. Expect that 1 to finish it everyday!
If he doesn't , sit him away from everyone else ( hall or friend's room) and have him write on his own.
Then have the other kids either discuss it quietly and write or go over it quietly w/ them in the room. ( They'll all have that Q correct. It might knock him down a peg.
3 weeks is more than enough patience.
Those types drive me insane too if they do not have something to do right when they are done. Shut it down early in the year!


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I usually ask
Old 09-07-2019, 04:47 PM
 
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the student to check his/her work to be sure it's correct. "There should be no mistakes, since you have time to be sure about the answers." They sometimes find errors and correct them (use a different color or circle your correction, sometimes slow down because they do find errors.

After a few weeks, I can ask "Class, what should you do when you finish?" and everyone choruses: Check your work. Read a book.
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Old 09-08-2019, 04:39 AM
 
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I had a student like this last year in 3rd grade.

When he finished his math work early, I had him write out how he solved the problems. It made him slow down and really think about what he was doing instead of just saying "I knew it!".
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Old 09-14-2019, 08:27 AM
 
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...has great challenging math puzzles. Ithink the website is Open Middle. I use those for my GT/advanced kids--sometimes I go up a grade or two and tell them fifth graders elsewhere are doing them, they need to think harder
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