Spring is when I find myself using early finishers the most in the classroom. My students have grown and are more independent. This allows me to work more frequently with students that are struggling. It’s so important that I keep my higher students engaged and busy during this time. That’s where early finishers come in! Are you looking for new ways to keep your early finishing students engaged? Keep reading for early finisher ideas for the classroom!
How to Organize Your Early Finisher Activities
One thing that you want to think about is how to organize the activities that you want your students to do when they finish early. If you are using printable activities, they can be kept in a plastic file crate like the ones above, or in drawers like the one below. The below image was the first early finisher system I used. Students will draw a stick from a cup. The number on the stick they draw will tell them which drawer to pick from to find their activity.
Additionally, you could give students an early finisher folder and put things in there that you’d like them to work on if they finish early.
Different Types of Early Finisher Activities
Any early finisher activity that you use in your classroom should be an independent task. It can be review of a previously learned skill, a challenge activity for a concept you’re currently working on, or something else that doesn’t require teacher guidance.
Color by codes are a great early finisher activity because they are not only independent tasks, but they also allow for skill review and fine motor practice.
Printables that review skills that were previously taught are a great early finisher. You can put these printables in your crate or drawers or even staple them into packets for students to work on at their own pace!
Sight word activities were also a go-to early finisher activity with my first graders. I wanted to expose them to these words as much as possible, so sight word games were an ideal solution!
Reading a book is always a wonderful idea for an early finisher activity! I requested that my students always have a book to read for the times when they finish an activity early.
Task cards are also a great early finisher for partner work! Want to read more about how to use task cards in your classroom? Check out this blog post!
In the older grades, I often have the same early finisher activities. When I was in fifth grade, I created the display above so that they knew which activities they could do if they finish something early. I found that this helped a lot with the ‘I’m done, now what?’ questions.
Want to see how I set this up? Check out this Instagram reel!
I hope you can use some of these early finisher ideas in the classroom!
Hi, I’m Libby!
I’m so happy you’re here! I love all things first grade – the curriculum, the content, and the sweet kiddos. I’m passionate about helping K-2 teachers save time in the classroom with fresh ideas and fun, engaging resources.