Sunday, March 4, 2012

What to do When You are Done

No matter what subject you teach, you will always have some students who finish before others. If they finish with only a short amount of time left in class, I usually have a filler activity, such as typing practice for younger and older students, and reading a book or finishing other homework for my middle school classes. However, there are times when a student will finish a whole class period before the rest of the class, and most importantly, they have met the quality requirements for the project. In this case, I want them to spend the next class period on something worthwhile that challenges them and is not just a filler. 

While discussing this with my administrators during my ILP meeting, I remembered an example of a Bingo card I had seen in another teacher's classroom. Since my ILP is about differentiation in my classroom, I committed myself to creating a choice card for my students to use when they complete a project early. Looking at my plans for the month, my second grade lesson would offer the opportunity for me to try this choice card out. I came up with sixteen choices of things to do based on what we had already learned throughout the year or things I felt they could do independently. Here is my example.

As I predicted, I had students finish a whole class period before the others and it was a great feeling for me to be able to have something meaningful for them to work on. At the same time, they were thrilled to be able to have the opportunity to chose something to do in class. While some of the tasks were a little easy for my third graders, I was able to use the same choice card with them. Overall, it was a win-win situation!

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