Monday, February 27, 2017


In every classroom you will have racehorses and turtles. Make assignments and by the time you turn around the racehorses are saying, “I’m finished.” Meanwhile, the turtles never seem to make it to the finish line.

Here are several ideas to focus children’s attention and give them something to do when they complete their work. Most of the activities are open-ended and can be adapted to different age levels.

Super Duper Stars

Make a list of 10 things children can do if they finish their work. (Choose from the list below or create your own.) Children start with one and work through the activities in sequential order. 
Note! I did this in my kindergarten and it worked like a charm. Eventually, the children realized there was no reason to hurry through their work because there was more waiting for them as a super duper star!

Bonus Cards 
Write activities on strips of paper and put in a can. Children get to draw a “bonus” card when they complete their work.

*Here's where you can download the bonus cards:

Each month draw a “BINGO” grid and write a different activity in each section. Whenever children have extra time, they do an activity and color it in. Who can fill in their whole card by the end of the month? Who can get a line across, down, or diagonally? Each child can win!
*Thanks to Jenny Ianero for sharing this idea she uses with her first graders.