Thursday, June 26, 2014

Fast Finishers and Meticulous Incompleters {Finished & Unfinished Trays}

Does it happen to you too? For the vast majority of your students you hit the nail on the head. They get it and they finish their work in the time you have allocated. You pat yourself on the back and you smile! Awesome lesson, you say to yourself. Well done! But wait, there are two sweeties over there working meticulously on their activity and they are just not going to finish before break. Then there is another who will have the same outcome, but for a whole different set of reasons! And don't forget the ever so eager one who completed the task as you finished explaining it. One of the most difficult things I have found when teaching a class filled with differing abilities and learning styles (which is every class you or I have ever taught), is managing the rate at which work is completed. What to do? Enter the finished/unfinished trays.



This is such a simple strategy! When the students finish their independent activity they simply place their work in the finished tray. They can do this as and when they finish the activity without interrupting me. They then work on their 'fast finishers' tasks. One of these tasks is to check the unfinished tray.



If any of the sweeties don't finish their independent activity in the time allocated, they simply place it in the unfinished tray. When a spare five minutes arises through the day, students can collect their work from the tray and continue the activity.


The great thing about this strategy is that all the sheets are in one place for marking! I can also see who is struggling (or taking extra care) with a particular concept at a glance. It has made a huge difference in managing this tricky classroom issue. If you would like a copy of the labels click HERE or on the images above.

If you are looking for more teacher tips, check out some Tried and True methods at The Teaching Tribune! I'm linking up with them today!


So what are your classroom management tips and tricks? I would love to hear them!


10 comments:

  1. I love the idea of an unfinished basket! Will definitely have to use this next year!
    Rachel
    A Tall Drink of Water

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    1. So glad this idea will help in your classroom! Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. CUTE!!!! I love the angles/focus you take your photos on, too. It's also funny how you call them "meticulous incompleters"
    Lori
    Mixing it up in Middle

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    1. Thanks Lori! Love your back to school game!

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  3. I love this idea and will be using it in my 3rd grade classroom this fall! How often do you want the unfinished tray to be empty? At the end of each day or end of the week? And if it's not, do you send work home with students or have them stay in from recess?

    Thanks!
    Kelly

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    1. Hi Kelly! I am glad this will come in useful! I usually try to clear the tray on a weekly basis. That way students have had the opportunity to work on items throughout the week. Each Friday, before students have some 'free choice' or similar activity, the tray must be cleared. This gives me the chance to sit and work with those students who have not completed on a one-to-one basis or small group. I can work through difficult concepts and/or reduce the work load if required. Some great teaching and learning happens on Friday afternoons! Hope this helps, and thanks for commenting! Jean

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  4. Thanks for the reply! That makes perfect sense & I love it!

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  5. My pleasure! Hope it works a treat in your room this year!

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  6. Love these!! Would you mind sharing the file? I checked your TPT store and can't seem to find it. Thank you!!

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    1. Glad you like them, Morgan! Just click on one of the images above to grab the labels. Thanks for stopping by!

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