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Senior Member
What do you have your kids do when they finish their seatwork? I usually make my 4th graders read, but they are causing problems by not reading when they finish their work. Does anyone have any good ideas or management for this? I can't have too much chaos or noise because I am usually working with a small group that is struggling with a concept when kids are finishing.


Senior Member
Me too!

Oh my goodness, me too. I always say, "When you're finished, read or write." They hate me when I say that.

I've found a few good workbooks of more challenging or just different "thinker" things for the kids to do, but oftentimes they just ask way too many questions that it's not conducive for me in small groups. Help!


Full Member
Lucky Me..

I feel so blessed this year. My kids BEG me for more reading time. As soon as they finish something they're pulling out a book. Sometimes they are even "sneaking" reading. We use AR and they are "point hogs". They get a star on a chart for every 5 points, as long as they are keeping 85% or above. Wow, am I the luckiest teacher or what !!


Senior Member

You are lucky. We use AR and the kids like the idea of getting points, but most of them don't want to do the work of reading the book. Week after week they are turning in books unread to the library.


Full Member
When I taught 3rd grade I had my students do SRAs when they had free time. They really liked the SRAs, and could earn extra credit points.

I'm teaching 7th and 8th grades now, and I have a file with word searches, crosswords, Suduko puzzles, brain teasers, and coloring sheets. I leave the file on the shelf next to the in-box, so when they turn in their completed assignments, they grab something to do out of the folder. Some sheets are worth extra credit points, it just depends on how academic it is.


Senior Member
My "I'm Finished" Chart for fourth graders is

1. Complete any unfinished work,except art
2. Work on a Folder Center (Take It To Your Seat Centers that I keep in a tub - I add to the tub as we finish a concept)
3. Read a book
4. Write in your journal (notebooks that they can write to me or their other teacher in)
5. Study for a test
6. Memorize your Bible verse
7. Complete any unfinished art project

They're supposed to go through the list in order. I put art at the bottom because otherwise they'll go immediately to their art projects.

I put this chart up halfway through the quarter, and I found it's much more effective than "read or write" because it gives specific instructions.

Oh, I forgot the other item on the list "Write a letter to your pen pal or anyone else"
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Senior Member
Ongoing projects

When I had fifth and sixth graders, I always made sure they had an ongoing project to work on. If they finished classwork, they always had a book, a research project, or some type of "product" (PowerPoint, dioramas, etc.) that they could be working on. It did require being able to send them out to the library or computer lab sometimes - however, since we had computers in the library for them to use, and a cooperative librarian - it was not a problem.

IF you need to keep them in the classroom, consider the research idea, only they need to be sure they have their books, access to encyclopedias, etc. in your classroom.

The other thing my kids LOVE are VersaTiles (from Cusinaire). They are VERY self guided and self checking. You can find them on their website - math, reading and science...