Monday, August 20, 2012

Early Finishers: "What to do when you're done" Station

I'm linking up for Monday Made It.... Visit the link to see more awesome DIY goodies!

Ok, I know I'm not the only one who feels this way, but it drives me a little bonkers can be quite bothersome when I'm conferencing with students 1-on-1 or working with a small group, and I have a handful of early finishers causing distractions, or saying, "I'm already finished... what do I do?"

Well, during my time subbing at various locations, I came across a classroom that had a "What to do when you're done" station.

The teacher had flash cards, brain teasers, and other options for students who finish early. I LOVED this idea!

So, I created one for my summer school class.

This is my station for early finishers. I introduced it on the first day, told them about it's purpose and when to use it, and gave the students opportunities to try it out. My rules are to keep it neat and organized, and only use it when you're 100% done with the assignment. You may work with a partner, but only if they are also 100% done.

I used some magazine boxes on clearance from Ikea to store informational magazines. The students also have books available to them, but they're not stored in the same place. I thought about adding brain teasers and math puzzles, but since it's just a month-long summer school class I thought it'd be too much. I'd definitely add those if I had a real classroom though.

I got the two baskets from Target's $1 Spot and Dollar Tree.

In one basket I have math flashcards (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division & telling time).

In the other I have flash cards with sight words for the grade levels I'm working with, and four sets of Fact Cards from Target's $1 Spot.... I have the US Presidents set, The 50 US States set, the Space set and one of the Animals sets.

Target Dollar Spot Fact Flash Cards!

I love that this center keeps the "I'm done already!" students from distracting others, that they're practicing math facts or sight words, learning something new, or just staying engaged in learning in general. Some kids are so hard to get back once they lose focus and this helps them stay on track.

I thought I'd share the new version of the sign I used for my station...

It's simple enough to create your own, but if you want/need something to get started from then this could help. Or if you want to do it exactly how I described above, that's fine, too!

Click HERE for the "What to Do When You're Done" FREEBIE!




  1. Hi Claire,
    I got those flashcards too! I'm trying to come up with an interactive center they can do during work on writing....hmmm...Like your idea;) Thanks for linking up:)

    4th Grade Frolics

  2. LOVE this! I may have to set up a station of my own :) SO creative!

    Living A Wonderful Life

    P.S. Thanks for your super sweet comment on my blog!


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