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jhteach jhteach is offline
 
Joined: Jul 2007
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jhteach
 
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 185
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More on Fast Finishers
Old 10-14-2007, 10:03 AM
 
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The fast finishers post reminded me of a question I have been meaning to ask:
How do you manage all of the work completed by students from the "What can I do when I am done?" choices? For example, I have those Take it to Your Seat centers for Writing and Language Arts. cursive handwriting seats, Word Ladders, etc

Do you grade them? Do you require them? Do you provide them as an incentive? How do you keep track of their completion? Do you find that a lot of the work completed is poor quality?

This is my second year using these ideas. Last year I had an awful time keeping up with the work turned in and that is not fair to the students and just makes me look lazy and inconsistent. I need a manageable way to do this. Right now I just have students reading or writing in their notebooks when they finish early. That = BORING so I want to implement these other activities ASAP. I thought of maybe having the students keep up with a record sheet of activities they complete. They would have to write the title of the activity they complete and turn it in with the work. Any ideas would be so appreciated.


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scrapbookmom scrapbookmom is offline
 
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fast finishers workshop
Old 10-16-2007, 06:50 PM
 
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I have been at this for more years than I'd like to admit. I have struggled with the same issue. This year, though, I spoke with a 1st grade teacher who uses the old Workshop Way program, and I have adapted it to my 4th grade class. Now I have a bulletin board with numbered tasks. Students begin each day at #1. The tasks cover many subject areas and are short and kind of fun. The file folders are a part of the tasks.
Spelling is the 1st activity. I have a set of cards that I rotate with fun spelling activities like mirror-write your spelling words (write frontwards and backwards). Another task is to read an article in a magazine and fill out a short form about what they knew already and what they learned. I have a set of cards with numbers on and the students have to write the number on that day's card and represent the number in words, expanded notation, and an array. I now have a total of 15 activities.
The most important piece of this whole thing is that the students put the results of their work in their box or cubby to take home at the end of the day. I don't grade it or even look at each piece. I can go to their box and spot check to see if they are indeed working and doing quality work. I may remind a student or the whole class that they need to have more of the tasks finished, or better quality work. Sounds too easy, but it is working! I think the key is that the tasks are short, varied, and kind of fun.
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