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Showing posts with label fast finishers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fast finishers. Show all posts

But My Students Don't Know This Stuff!

Sometimes I'll lead my students to some activities where they are expected to answer questions where they haven't been taught the content. How can this be valuable?

But My Students Don't Know This Stuff!

I've been doing some reading, and I've found some research that proves children really do learn from an activity that requires guessing. In fact, these challenges are good for them, and enhance learning! The key? Making sure they get immediate feedback.
 
Sometimes my students do activities where they are expected to answer questions, but they haven't been taught the content. How can this be valuable?
 
If the children are doing an activity where they have to guess at something, it gets them thinking. Once they've thought about it, they'll take a guess. If they get immediate feedback, they'll learn!  

Sometimes my students do activities where they are expected to answer questions, but they haven't been taught the content. How can this be valuable?
 
It's just like watching Jeopardy! Every time I watch, I learn more facts, even when I didn't know them before I watched! Guessing helps the brain learn! (Thanks, Alex!)
 
Sometimes my students do activities where they are expected to answer questions, but they haven't been taught the content. How can this be valuable?
 
This sort of activity can be repeated over and over. Each time it's repeated, they'll remember more. As they repeat the activity, there will be less guessing and more remembering! 

Sometimes my students do activities where they are expected to answer questions, but they haven't been taught the content. How can this be valuable?
 
This is a perfect type of activity for students to work on while you're working with individuals or small groups.
 
Sometimes my students do activities where they are expected to answer questions, but they haven't been taught the content. How can this be valuable?
 
These are perfect for your "fast finishers" or children that need a little extra challenge after their work is complete.
 
Sometimes my students do activities where they are expected to answer questions, but they haven't been taught the content. How can this be valuable?

Plus, reading random questions counts as reading practice. They do need to be reading every day, right?


Sometimes my students do activities where they are expected to answer questions, but they haven't been taught the content. How can this be valuable?

They can work alone, but working with a friend brings valuable conversation! You know, the conversations that help them think through and remember information!
 
Sometimes my students do activities where they are expected to answer questions, but they haven't been taught the content. How can this be valuable?
 
Did I mention how much the children love this stuff? Seriously, they love learning new material!

Sometimes my students do activities where they are expected to answer questions, but they haven't been taught the content. How can this be valuable?
 
I know what you're thinking... but I'm having enough trouble fitting in everything I have to teach already! Yes, I know, but this isn't just "another thing to do." It's something to enhance what's already happening!
 
Sometimes my students do activities where they are expected to answer questions, but they haven't been taught the content. How can this be valuable?
 
But what about the standards? Yeah, I thought you might be concerned about that one. I'll tell you a little secret:

Teaching isn't all about the standards. 
Teaching is about enriching the lives of the kids.
 
Shocking, I know. Can you imagine if administrators heard me say that? Well, I'll tell you another little secret:

I'm not here to impress the administrators. 
I'm here to make a difference in the lives of children.
 
Well, I'm not really that much of a rebel, but I really do want to make a difference in the lives of the children. (And yes, the standards DO matter, but there's so much more to kids!)

Now I suppose you're wondering where to find these activities that keep kids guessing!

Well, here's a freebie to get you started:
 
Sometimes my students do activities where they are expected to answer questions, but they haven't been taught the content. How can this be valuable?
 
Looking for more? Well, here's a fun one:
Here are a few more:
Facts About Space (Boom Cards)
 
Most of these activities will enhance the children's knowledge with very little work on the teacher's part. Plus, teachers can see their results easily for all those Boom Cards! 

Here are some links to articles about how guessing help students learn.
  

How do you challenge your students beyond what they already know?

Sometimes my students do activities where they are expected to answer questions, but they haven't been taught the content. How can this be valuable?


How do we keep them engaged?

"They" can be a whole lot of learners. They are the "fast finishers", or maybe the "gifted". They can be children who are "high achievers", or just a child who already knows the concept you're working on because his older brother taught it to him.
How do we keep them engaged? Some children finish their daily work much faster than others. How can we keep them engaged without assigning "busy work?"

There are a million reasons a child might need an extra challenge to stay engaged. 

I know most schools have many ways to address the struggling students with Tier 2 and Tier 3, RTI, Title I, Special Education, and so on. But there's not all that much for those who learn easily or quickly. Yet, they are just as important! (Personally, I think they are ALL important, not just the ones who need to "up their test scores!")

Here are some things to NOT do: 
-give more practice on the same skill
-give "busy work" (work that won't advance the student's skills.)
-another grade level's work (This is a sticky subject, especially with some parents, but I truly believe that a child can be "enriched" without acceleration.)

Try to avoid most of the time:
-helping other students (again, it really doesn't advance the child's skills, but done occasionally can help reinforce the concepts.)

Better choices:
It's easier to challenge and engage early finishers in literacy. They can:
-read more challenging books
-read different genres
-write summaries or book reports
-write a story from another character's point of view
-write poetry
-write a play
-research a favorite subject and create a report

I could go on, but there are plenty of ideas all over the internet. (Check "early finishers" on Pinterest!)

Math can be a bit more of a challenge, because some kids struggle to grasp the daily lesson, while others breeze through the practice. We need to challenge the "fast finisher" brains by having them think of using strategies and procedures that will let them practice their skills with a little extra thinking.

Math choices:
-Yahtzee or other games that involve math strategies and planning
-Make their own math stories
-Complete or make their own math puzzles
-Practice facts with a friend
-Task cards, "I'm done" jars, or "What's next bulletin boards" (again, search Pinterest, there are tons of ideas out there!)
-computer games and tasks (such as BOOM computer task cards)

Here's a little video I made about one of my resources that fits this idea:



What other ideas do you have to keep them engaged?

How do we keep them engaged? Some children finish their daily work much faster than others. How can we keep them engaged without assigning "busy work?"


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