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ELA Early Finisher Task Cards

I’m done! We’ve all heard those words from students. Sometimes it means,”I’ve done as much as I am going to do alone,” but most times it means I’ve finished the required assignment. My number one early finisher activity is independent reading. As a reading teacher there is NO OTHER “activity” better (IMO) than for them to curl up with a book of their choice. That said, I am still working on getting all of my students to a place where they are FULLY invested in reading and not “FReading” AKA “Fake Reading.” My administration has created a curriculum that builds world knowledge and vocabulary through integrated units. For example, we start with the Civil Rights Movement, and then move to Ancient Greece, Mesopotamia, Rome, and early Africa. I started creating early finisher activities that adhere to a theme. I am actually avoiding the units that we do in class because they are so thorough. I’ve set out to use task cards that allow students to choose a different topic they are interested in… at the moment. I asked my students about their interests, and they gave me a WIIIDDDDEEEE range of ideas from {current}dance moves to the Descendants to sneakers to pets…and everything in between. Using their ideas, I’ve started a line following three simple guidelines. The activities must be…

Scaffolded: While majority of students of who finish early are my “high flyers,” this is not always the case. Additionally, I value choice and want students to have options on the work they engage in and for activities to be something they could access independently. If the activities are too difficult they need me, and if they’re too easy they’ll get bored. Below is an example of what this looks like. Students are allowed to select activities within a theme that interests them.

Focus on Reading and Writing Skills: I’m an ELA teacher and wanted students to practice with skills that reinforce the habits of readers and writers.

Self Directed: It is critical that early finisher activities are activities that students can do on their own because I am tied up helping students who are practicing skills from the lesson of the day.

Interested in more? I’ve created an edition for back to school because this is largely when I am conducting pretests, getting to know my students, and figuring out pacing. These cards provide a balance of reading and writing activities with opportunities for me to get to know my students. I’ll be creating more throughout the year so please stay tuned to see what’s next, and let me know what you do to engage early finishers!Take a closer look at a few cards here.

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Tanesha B. Forman

Tanesha B. Forman

I'm a current middle school administrator who loves breaking down complex topics and providing opportunities for educators learn, reflect, practice, and implement methods that foster equity and anti-racism. I believe we win together!

Behind the Blog

Hi, I'm Tanesha.

I’m a current middle school administrator who loves breaking down complex topics and providing opportunities for educators learn, reflect, practice, and implement methods that foster equity and anti-racism. I believe we win together!

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