Fast finishers are one of the toughest aspects of classroom management. In a typical classroom of 20-30 students, how do you deal with those students who finish way ahead of the rest? How do you ensure that they are still engaged in a relevant task that is fun, but at the same not busy-work? How do you ensure that those fast finishers do not become a classroom management issue that hinders your slower students?
Back when I was in the classroom full-time, this was always an issue for me. I got tired of telling students to take out a book and read when they were finished their work. Of course, there is enormous value in reading, but it’s just nice to be able to offer a bit of variety for the students who finish quickly. I tried putting out folders of activities for the early finishers, but it proved to be hard to keep up with, and hard to keep finding relevant activities that really interested my students.
This is how the Early Finisher Board was born.
The Early Finisher Board is a choice board that includes a variety of relevant, interesting activities. You can set up on a tri-fold board, a bulletin board, or even an empty piece of wall space or the side of a cabinet. Some teachers even use folders to put the activities in.
The Early Finisher Board keeps your students engaged while the others take the time that they need to finish their work. They complete fun, engaging, curriculum-related tasks. I also hear from teachers all the time who say that it motivates the other students to finish their work more quickly than usual, because they want to be able to do an activity from The Early Finisher Board too.
The Early Finisher Board is designed to promote:
– freedom to choose based on personal preferences
– differentiation based on learning styles and interests
– success for a wide variety of ability levels within your diverse classroom.
– student engagement
– pride and excitement
This tool truly has the potential to transform your classroom.
So how exactly does The Early Finisher Board work? There are seven sections: Read It, Write It, Solve It, Draw It, Make It, Do It, and Journal It. Each section contains a fun, curriculum-related activity to engage your early finishers. The tasks are switched out every two weeks so that your students always have new tasks to choose from!
The most important aspect of The Early Finisher Board is that students get to choose which activities they do. Some of your students will always choose from the Make It, Do It, or Draw It sections. And that’s okay! Some of your students will want to try all the activities.
Students use an Early Finisher notebook to store all of their tasks. It is important to note that you do not need to mark all of these tasks! That would mean an increased work load for you, with very little benefit for the students – definitely NOT the objective of The Early Finisher Board! The tasks are meant solely as extra pracice – NOT assessment.
Over the years I’ve heard from thousands of people who have used The Early Finisher Board in their classrooms. Here’s what a few of them have told me.
“Without a doubt, the best thing I have purchased from TpT — no lie. I actually cried when I saw the QUALITY of the tasks. There is NO busywork at all in this packet. Every task is aligned with the Common Core and I have found them to be challenging enough to keep my fast students engaged and happy, and fun enough to make others want to finish their work faster to be able to participate. The quiet engagement of my students makes this product priceless — a bargain at TWICE the price. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!!”
“I am so pleased with how well my students are using this board. They love the choices and enjoy putting all their work in a journal. I just collect them once a week or so, to see what the students have been doing. It has been a hit in my class. My principal came into my room the other day and said, “What a clever idea.” Thanks so much.”
“I’m speechless! This is a wonderful tool. I am so excited to put this in place for next year.”
“This is completely worth the time and money! I can’t imagine my year without it! No more dreaded, “I’m done, now what?” AND my principal even observed my students and noted how they were not just simply doing busy work once finished with their classwork.”
- REGISTER HERE for an upcoming live webinar: Early Finisher Board 101: Tips, Hacks, and Best Practice for your Early Finisher or Math Choice Board.
- Try the Early Finisher Board for FREE! Visit THIS PAGE to get your free 2-Week Sample and Getting Started Guide.
- Ready to commit to engaging your early finishers all year long? Browse the complete 40-Week Early Finisher Board and Math Choice Board systems HERE.