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Early finishers in K?

Classroom Management 


Senior Member
What do you do with your kids that finish work early in K? I am the same one who was on here complaining about having 28 students ;-) so I really need something simple and easy. I have been having them move from their desk to the rug and read a book from our library. Some of them love it and some of them just roll around the rug- ha! What other simple and easy things could I offer them?


Senior Member
At the start of the year I always did books, white boards, or puzzles. As the year went on and they showed more responsibility we added a bunch of "may-do" activities (games they knew how to play, etc.).


Senior Member
I try to make most of our work open-ended so we can all stop working at the same time. For example, we write using a workshop model, so they could always keep writing, add details to their illustration, or start a new writing piece.

Depending on what it is, sometimes coloring was the last thing I had them do, so students who finished the task could be coloring.

If it isn't open-ended:
Usually, if we are doing something with paper/pencil, the students who finish continue doing something with paper/pencil such as turning their paper over and drawing or practicing something they need to practice (could be writing numbers, practicing their name, or anything related to what we were working on).

Sending kids en masse to the rug to read books never ended well for me in over 20 years. However, a small collection of books at their table generally has better results.


Senior Member
Love the idea of books at the table. Using dry erase boards is one that often works. Small puzzles works well too.


Senior Member
I also try to keep things open ended but if you're using curriculum/workbooks that's often not possible.

First and second month of school they have play dough containers that they keep in their pencil box. Once they're finished with their workbook or whatever they're doing, they take it out. Easy and needs no explanation. For worksheets I'll have them color on the back.

Third month I'll introduce either puzzles, small individual fast finisher games (letter matching games, counting/number puzzles, etc), or reading at carpet now that they have stamina

Rest of the year they'll have options like IPADS, puzzles, reading, center games they've learned, etc.

I've also done whiteboard sentence copying where I'll have a sentence on the board and when they're finished they get a whiteboard and sit on their carpet spot and copy it down and write their own under it.


Senior Member
Seven Plus and Hiking Hiker have good ideas. I always tried to make the work assignments as open ended as possible. You might consider a centers approach: once you finished your “must do” you can choose a “can do”. Initially, you’re going to have to keep an eye on those who race through the must do work just to get to the fun stuff.

My kinders liked puzzles, reading my big books, geoboards, any kind of math games, “private” reading from their book bag, things I could tie into our science units, computer game time, reading and writing the room with silly glasses,pointers, and a clip board and pencil.