idea about a "Captain" for work station accountability. Also, Friday as a "Finish" day is a great idea. I think I'll try those two things after the holiday break.
Have you guys read Debbie Diller's books on Literacy Stations? I use quite a few of her literacy stations that are practice, and don't have to be graded. It takes some time at the beginning of the year to train the kids, but works well once things get going.
This is my first year in 3rd grade, and I am so thankful for all the ideas/suggestions I get from the other teachers!