Saturday, May 14, 2016

What to do with early finishers?

I read a Question on the Primary Teacher's Facebook page the other day and it asked "what do you do with early finishers?" This got me thinking why do we have early finishers? What is it that we do in the classroom that creates a culture of early and late finishers?

So I've been reflecting...

Teachers, we need to change our mindsets here because children learn at their own rate. Sometimes we need to mould to the learner and not the reverse. 

At the same time I am checking through my students ePortfolios to provide feedback and feedforward about our current science understandings about the earth, moon and sun systems.  Because of how we are set up in Poutama (our collaborative and innovative learning space) we have limited time to model all of the different tasks and activities to complete. I'm flicking through, in awe of the amazing videos and creations being made.  And I think the point I am trying to make is this, if we always model exactly what we want the students to do, then we are taking away their ability to interpret the task, and create something that is unique to where they are at.

If we painstakingly model what the students should do, and they don't do it then we get 'angsty' that they didn't do it. 

So like Simon Cowell says on Idol or Britain's Got Talent, choose a song and make it your own. Let's allow our learners to choose a task and make it their own.


Ebony Maaka said...

Great insight as always Nic. Thanks for sharing. I am now critiquing my practice and thinking about ways that I create space for children to be in the drivers seat of their learning, not the back seat.

I think it comes down to the tools (prior experiences) that you give to the learner, empowering them with knowing their own goals and giving them permission to practice them whenever the time arises. I am now thinking also about the impact this has on teachers of really young learners. I believe it is possible!

David Reardon (Principal, Russell Street School) said...

Is work ever complete? Finished?