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Fast Finisher Activities and Ideas for Elementary Teachers in 2022

“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!

girl working on fast finisher activities

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

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.

first grade math spiral review activities2nd grade math spiral review worksheets as homework for the entire year3rd grade math spiral review worksheets as homework for the entire year4th grade math spiral review worksheets as homework for the entire year5th grade spiral review

2. Logic Puzzles

Another great resources to use for students who finish their work early are these sets of logic puzzles.

math number tile puzzles for addition and subtractionmath number tile puzzles for multiplication and division

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.

reading graphic organizers

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!

monthly writing prompts

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.

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