“I’m done! Now what? What’s next?” Do you ever hear this in your classroom while most of your students are still working? Read below to learn how to best serve your “fast finishers” in your class through meaningful experiences where they can use their critical thinking and problem solving skills to expand their thinking and deepen their understanding of the content. You are going to love these fast finisher activities and ideas!
What is a Fast Finisher Activity?
A fast finisher activity is an activity that is prepared ahead of time for when students complete a task before the rest of the class. They can take on many different formats (e.g. worksheets, task cards, games, and books), be aligned to any content area (e.g. literacy, math, social studies, and STEM), be closed- or open-ended tasks, and be short term or long term projects (link to blog or product). Fast finisher projects, as you can see, can take many forms but they all share the same idea. They are either prepped ahead of time or are no-prep. Students can work on these independent learning experiences quietly when they finish a task early.
Why Should I Use Fast Finisher Activities?
Fast finisher activities are an essential classroom management strategy for all elementary classrooms. Your classroom will run a lot smoother if you have fast finisher activities prepared and a routine in place so students know what to do when they are done with a task early.
15 Fast Finisher Ideas
Below are 15 ideas for fast finishers.
Fast Finisher Ideas for Anytime
- Independent reading
- Brain teasers
- Logic puzzles
- Coaching classmates
- Helping the teacher
- Spiral review packet of previously learned concepts and skills
- Project Based Learning Tasks and other long term projects
- Writing packets
Content-Specific Fast Finisher Ideas
- Reading books about the concept you are teaching
- Extension activities based on what they are learning
- Extra reinforcement worksheets or task cards based on the topic you are covering
- A review packet on what you have learned so far during your current unit
- Games based on the topic you are working one
5 Fast Finisher Management and Organization Tips
- Create a bulletin board, poster, display, or station designated to show students what they can do when they are finished with their task.
- Store fast finisher activities in bins, baskets, folders, or binders.
- Write fast finisher activities on popsicle sticks and store them in a labeled cup.
- Post a grid with options of fast finisher activities student can work on.
- Post expectations for when students are doing these types of activities (e.g. work independently and work quietly).
4 Fast Finisher Resources
Below are 3 tasks that are perfect for students who finish early.
1. Spiral Review Math Activities
These spiral review activities are great tasks for students to work on when they finish early.
- 1st Grade Spiral Review Activities
- 2nd Grade Spiral Review Activities
- 3rd Grade Spiral Review Activities
- 4th Grade Spiral Review Activities
- 5th Grade Spiral Review Activities
2. Logic Puzzles
Another great resources to use for students who finish their work early are these sets of logic puzzles.
3. Reading Activities that Go with Any Book
This set of reading activities that can be used with any book are awesome! Their open ended format also allows them to be used over and over again through the school year.
4. Monthly Writing Journals
The final fast finisher resource on this list are the monthly writing prompt journals. Prep them one month at a time or for the whole year and you will be good to go!
In closing, we hope you found these fast finisher activities and ideas helpful! Be sure to check out the resources above to save you time and energy prepping tasks for your students who finish early.