EARLY FINISHERS 1ST GRADE
MAKE LEARNING RELEVANT WITH YOUR EARLY FINISHERS
Hi there! Today I’m going to continue talking about five ways to help your students MASTER THE STANDARDS. Here’s a link back to the main page in case you just happened to stumble upon this blog post. I’ve been explaining what we do to make sure our kiddos are mastering our common core state standards since we have moved to a standards-based report card. Today I’m going to talk about Early Finisher Activities.
PREVIOUSLY… I JUST THREW THINGS TOGETHER…
When Common Core State Standards were first introduced in our district, we were also given a new curriculum called Engage NY (AKA Eureka Math and Great Minds). Other states had already adopted CCSS, but we were a little late to the party. I had just moved back into first grade (from four years of middle school ELA and technology). So when we first started teaching using Engage NY, we had some serious issues! Our students were all over the place with their learning. We also found it really hard to get to everything with every student. Some students were able to finish the problem set, but other students were taking forever to complete. Our math block felt like it could last all day long! And let’s not forget to mention that our district also adopted a rubric called COMPASS for them to evaluate us.
To get a 4 on our COMPASS rubric, the goal Is to have students running the classroom.
- Students were the ones asking higher order questions to their classmates.
- They needed to be helping other students, not me.
- Students taking feedback from their peers without teacher assistance.
OH… OK! That’s what we all thought at first – but the more we started thinking about it, the more it made sense – but we needed a mind-shift for all of this to actually work. Today I’m going to talk about one of the mind-shifts I had.
HOW CAN I REACH ALL STUDENTS?
I think I felt that I had to be the center of attention at all times. Although I’m a TOTAL introvert, put me in front of six-year-old students, and I become a theatrical stage-hog! But as I started thinking about my students, I realized that I was doing them an injustice. I had very high students that were able to finish problem set and exit ticket within ten minutes. But I also had students who had a hard time completing a few problems within the problem set in the given time frame.
My wheels started turning, and I started asking these questions…
- How can I reach all students
- How can I make learning relevant
- What can I create that will allow students to work to their full potential without putting more work on me during instruction of small groups
Eventually, my early finisher ppts were born. You can read here about the complete process. These early finishers are relevant to what students learned that day, reach all students, and the only thing you need to do is PRESS PLAY!
HERE’S HOW THEY WORK:
I’ll explain how they work with Eureka Math since that is how our teachers use them, but I am now creating them for math standards as well. We use the PPTS because we have that software on our classroom computers, but teachers can also use google drive. It works the same.
- After you teach the lesson, pull up the early finisher that you want students to work on.
- Press play
- As students complete their exit ticket, they grab a white board and move to the floor in front of the white board.
- The presentation shows a problem
- Students work out the problem
- After 10-20 seconds, your students will see the answer
- Students check their work
- PPT/Slideshow moves to the next slide on it’s own
- Students can jump in at any time and start working
Ya’ll – it’s easy as 1.2.3. Students are ALWAYS engaged and learning, and it’s so relevant because it is either something you’ve already taught, or a standard that you know the kiddos need help with. It’s so easy, but makes such a huge impact on classroom learning and engagement.
And in turn, you are able to help the students who really need you because all other students are working on their own without any help from you. It’s like having another teacher in the room!
LET ME HELP YOU WITH YOUR EARLY FINISHER KIDDOS!
IF YOU DON’T HAVE THE TIME TO CREATE YOUR OWN, CHECK OUT WHAT I HAVE ALREADY CREATED TO MAKE YOUR LIFE EASIER… NOT TO MENTION IT WILL SERIOUSLY HELP YOUR KIDDOS!
Kids love going to the computer, and this is a great resource for early finishers to practice counting on!
This lady is the Eureka Math powerpoint queen!
These powerpoints are some of the best things to ever happen to my math block. Love the independent and engaging practice.
What a great idea! My students enjoying it, and I’m loving the extra practice they receive during “down” time. Thanks!