Early Bird Solution!

I haven't been teaching that long, but over the few years I have been teaching--I have noticed that when you are blessed with those 22 (sometimes 25) children that will be in your classroom for the year...they come from VERY different homes and they are at VERY different levels of learning. Some of those students can be done in 5 minutes with an activity...while some take the entire time and need a lot of help. (that is okay!)

Be cautious--do not get frustrated with the ones that take a while, chances are they are learning and sometimes they may even do better than the ones that finished quickly. (Because they actually took their time and read carefully.) I also do not praise the ones that finish early--kids want to be praised, but praise them for working hard or taking their time, this will instill endurance, patience, concentration, and appreciation for their own work.

HOWEVER--we still have those students that just can't help it. When they get it, they get it! They are done in five minutes...and inevitably, they come up to you and say..."What do I do now?" So, I was reading a blog of a Kinder teacher and she had a fabulous idea called, "Fast Finishers." I decided to use part of her idea. However, I didn't want to call mine that--fearing that it would instill a bit of praise in just the title for rushing through work.

I've decided to call mine Early Birds. For any one that finishes early; they will look on the board and see what the Early Bird assignment is for today. I simply made a few signs to put on the board, I will just rotate them each day (or even every other day). The students will know exactly what is expected of them. The first week, I will spend explaining these assignments or activities so the students will know where to go and what to do from Day 1. Here are my different assignments and activities:


The students will be allowed to go to the back of the room and play my BOGGLE board. Here is another picture of my Boggle Board. :)


I got this idea from a fellow blogger. :) But the students will go select a class journal and write in it! Here is a picture of the journals! Go visit her link!



This one will not be done as often...but maybe as a reward for great class behavior. :) But the students will not get to go do something "more fun" than the students still working. These will be "by yourself" games at your seat. Such as matching synonyms, homophone sort, etc.


Obviously, the title says it all. I just get tired of telling my kids to "Go read a book." It becomes a phrase that makes the kids feel like they are bothering you. I like this phrase better. :)

You can make any signs you want that fit your class or the activities you already have made. I chose these because I knew they would work for me. Another choice is PUZZLES, I chose not to do that but plan on using puzzles as one of my "GAMES" components.

Be cautious of choosing activities that are "more fun" than what they other students are working on. I am not going to make a big deal out of the EARLY BIRDS--but simply have something educational for them to work on when they finish. My rewards will come for hard work, and taking your time; that is SO important!! Also, in your own class you might want to create a rule for when it is no longer EARLY BIRD time. (For example, when 14 kids are finished, that's not really EARLY BIRD time.) Just something to think about. :)

5 comments

  1. Hi, Hillary!
    I love the idea of using the whole class journal for an early bird activity! I'd been seeing the whole class journal idea on Pinterest but didn't know how I would include it in my classroom. Thank you for sharing your ideas!

    Alex

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  2. You are so welcome!! I actually just thought too that during the "dive into a book" time, they could read some of the whole class journals at their seat! Just a thought! I might do that. :)

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  3. LOVE your stuff !! Just curious how do you organize your classroom library ?

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    1. Hey girl! Thanks! I organize my library by genres. I have all of Beth Newingham's genre labels (just google her) and I label my baskets with those BUT I also place a colored circle sticker on that label and place a number on it. (for example...it may say Non-Fiction Animals, but it will also have a 13 on a colored sticker, then all those books will have the same color sticker and number on them) I do the stickers so the kids will know where to put the books back. :) It works great!! Then all the books I have sets of (Goosebumps, Junie B. Jones, Horrible Harry, etc..) I put those in their own basket...labels "Goosebumps" or whatever...and I do the number thing. :) Hope this makes sense!! Heard you got a 3rd grade job!! You will be awesome! :) Love 3rd grade!!! Let me know if you have any more questions!!

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  4. That is so funny ! Because I did the exact the same thing !!! Including the dots and everything !! I've taken a lot off of your blog here ! :-) very helpful by the way !! My specialization is ela . But then I taught math last year and I'm trying to get Back in English mode !! Reading is my passion , so I'm excited !! Thanks for your help !!

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