I was just told that in 2 weeks I will be going from teaching all subjects to only Math/Science due to my high test scores in those areas. They have asked me to redo my classroom and create an entire separate area for early finishers. What does everyone use for early finishers? I also will have all the G/T kids in with regular and low students, so I need to find ways to challenge those high kids also. Any help/suggestions/resources would be greatly appreciated!!
I have my kids go onto the computers to math sites that I have found are engaging and fun. coolmathgames.com is one great site. We do every day math and it has its own game site that kids can challenge themselves depending on the level they choose for the games. How about working with tangrams? They make some great challenge cards to go with tangrams.
I'll play devil's advocate because it's been my experience that when something very fun and cool like computer games is the follow up, all kids tend to rush through.
Having said that there could be ways to ensure work is done well. Maybe you have in place a system where no one can go until a certain time OR a self checking system so that the work is done high quality and accurately. Otherwise computers is not a good idea.
I try to have some problem solving sheets and kids have mini whiteboards to practice zip strips and other facts on.
I also switched over to only teaching Math- due to the scores of my students in that area... According to my experience having them do something like computer work has the others jealous... upset... an not concentrating.... I rather like to give "Level Up" examples. These are difficult examples, which makes the bright ones feel good that they can answer such difficult ones- ( I usually tell my 5th graders- these are 8th grade level- lemme see who can be just like an eight grader...) and the weak ones dont rush to be able to do them since for them it is not exciting at all... you got to make sure that the slower students dont feel pressured to finish quickly- because then youll have them doing much poorer than they really could!