Have you ever given out an assignment and in what feels like minutes later students are already finished? There are always a few fast finishers in every class, and they need something to do! If they don’t have anything to do, they will be sure to make sure everyone knows they are done. They might blurt out answers or really get the rest of the class off task. This is why activities for fast finishers are so important.
What is a Fast Finisher?
A fast finisher in the classroom can be the student who just rushes through everything and will need to go back to clean up his/her work. This student could also just be your high flier who seems to always get everything on the first try. Finally, the third kind of fast finisher is the student who just works a little faster than the rest. No matter what kind of fast finisher you have in your classroom, you need some great activities for fast finishers. However, no one is going to want to finish fast if they have to do more boring work. That’s why you need fun activities ready to go!
Color By Code Math Activities for Fast Finishers
Something all my students LOVED to do were color by codes and so did I! Students love the color by codes because they get to color and have a little bit of a brain break. I love color by codes because my students are practicing their math skills. I have always used math color by codes and have some available for first and second graders. However, you can find color by codes for nearly any subject! I love this activity for fast finishers because it was so low prep!
At the beginning of the week, I would simply make some copies for my students to put in their fast finisher folder. Whenever they got done with something quickly, they knew to go to that folder and to work on an activity. This is an expectation that I set and reinforced throughout the year so students knew exactly what to do. If folders aren’t your thing, you can always have a fast finisher drawer or an area where students can pick up activities. By having this activity for fast finishers ready to go, my students never had to interrupt me or other students.
Utilize Spiral Review for Fast Finishers
I have talked about this once, twice, maybe a thousand times in a variety of ways: spiral review. Spiral review is something I love because it is such a great way to review and build big brain muscles! I love using spiral review for morning work, centers, and as an activity for fast finishers!
All I did was bind my spiral review activities for first, second, and third grade and give one to each of my students. Then, they can keep these in their desk at the ready! I would often use this as a morning work activity while everyone was getting settled, as a fast finisher activity as well as in my centers if they had time in a center to spare.
The goal was the booklet needed to be done by the end of the month. My students could work on this whenever they had time, and if they worked ahead, that was great! If they did get it done in a month, I would have a little surprise for them. Because the spiral review packets come with exercises for reading, English, and more, it works for a variety of subjects!
Digital Centers for an Independent Fast Finisher Activity
Now, you all know I am the center fairy! I love my math and literacy centers both digital and print! There are so many amazing things you can do with centers. However, to me, the cherry on top is using digital centers as a fast finisher activity. Now, you might be asking, why digital math and literacy centers?
The answer is simple. There is no set up necessary when you have the activity for fast finishers already assigned online. You can easily give your students the file or assign an activity on Google Classroom or See Saw without having to set up all of those little pieces. As long as you are working with your students on how to use digital centers throughout the year, they will be able to do this without having to interrupt you or their classmates.
You can find digital math and literacy centers that will last you the whole year for kindergarten, first, second, third, fourth, and fifth grade. The best part is you have more choices now! If you get Volume 1, your math and literacy center activities will be themed by holiday. However, the Volume 2 center activities have themes but none of them are specific to a holiday. Therefore, you can use them when you see fit!
BUMP Up your Activities for Fast Finishers
BUMP Games are so much fun and you can get a year long bundle! I love them not only for centers, but also for activities for fast finishers. Much like the digital centers, you don’t want to have pieces all over the place you need to keep track of. BUMP games, available for phonics work and math, can be put into a bag, put into a bin, and then taken out whenever your students need something to do.
If your students have been working with the spiral review packet for a while and need a break, then a BUMP game might be just what they need to mix things up. BUMP games require very few pieces so they are easy to put back in the bag when it’s time to move to the next activity.
Squares Your Fast Finisher Brain
I love Squares Your Brain not only because I invented it, but also because it is perfect for fast finishers because it is so stinkin simple and self-checking! You can print these off and have them available for students in Ziploc bags ready to go. Because you have already taught your students how to do this, you won’t have them interrupting you or other students. They will be too busy having a good time!
No matter what activity for fast finisher you choose to use, you always want to make sure you have taught your students how to play the game prior to letting them use it as a fast finisher activity. If you don’t, they will be asking you questions the entire time and you won’t be able to help the others. You can use these fast finishers in spurts which ensures your students never get bored. If you want more great tips like these, make sure you join our VIP Club for exclusive freebies!
Until Next Time…
Keep Being Educational Rock Stars