Hi everyone! I started a new procedure in my classes this year and it is working wonderfully so I thought I would share it with all of you.
Have you ever struggled with what to do with that group or student who always finishes "first"? I would often hear the question "What should I do next?" I would instruct them to "review vocabulary" or sometimes say the DREADED "sit here quietly until everyone else finishes." Although this would work for a little while, a few minutes later I would get "What do I do now that I am finished with that?". I would then say "Work on other homework quietly." With such an indirect instruction, the talking would start and it would interfere with students who were still trying to finish the original assignment. AHHHH the frustration! There HAD to be a better way. So, I found it!
I put together a packet of 51 "I'm finished" tasks! These "tasks" sit in a bin on the table in the front of the room. If a student or group finishes an assignment early, they can just come up to get a "task" to work on at their own pace. If they finish, they can simply go up and get another one! This way, my higher level students take on the challenge of completing as many assignments as possible, and my lower level students can feel proud of the assignments that they do complete.
These "tasks" are very easy and only take about 5 minutes to complete. I designed these tasks so they are fun and easy enough for students of all abilities. Students will look at the slip they have chosen and confidently say "Oh, I can do that!". The cool part is that they are either learning new information or reinforcing previous information and they don't even realize it!
The tasks in this packet are meant for first year Spanish students. They can be started as early as Day 1 if you needed to do that. The tasks generally involve looking up vocabulary words, writing vocabulary or verbs in Spanish and English, drawing pictures, or using adjectives to describe something. There are also very basic grammar points included. I have included the days, months, numbers, foods, school supplies, question words, adjectives, sports, time, household items, weather and seasons, and many other topics.
I usually hand out sheets for the students to complete their tasks on. I do pink for 1st Quarter, blue for 2nd Quarter, yellow for 3rd Quarter, and green for 4th quarter. I collect any tasks that they have completed for the quarter and they receive extra points based on their completion. I hand them back to the students and they keep it in their binders as part of a study guide for the year.
I honestly was not sure how the students were going to like doing these tasks. They love them! It keeps my higher level students actively learning (and out of trouble) until it is time for the group to come together again. I even had a student ask me if he could bring some of the tasks to his study hall to complete there!
Anyway, I hope that you enjoy my packet and feel free to change anything to fit the specific needs of your classes.
These "tasks" are also great for regular and "emergency" sub plans!
**I will be adding a packet in the near future that will include a little more challenging materials for 2nd year students!
Until then, Rock it out teachers! =)
Active Engagement Activities
by Christi Pagano
is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License