How to Make Your Expectations for Early Finishers Clear

Being back in the junior grades, I'm remembering just how wide the gap can be between my strongest and most struggling students. Even with solid differentiation happening in my classroom there are times that my students have completed the assigned work early and are looking to me to know what to do next. Here's how I make expectations for early finishers clear.

Image early finisher posters with text, "How to Make Your Expectations For Your Early Finishers Clear."

I don't think my solution is going to surprise anyone, and it certainly isn't a new idea, but the way I make my expectations for what my early finishers should do clear is by...


Post them!

Leave no room for questions or uncertainty.

Allow no interruptions to small-group lessons.

And as I say in my classroom, "Doing nothing is never an appropriate choice."

I have posters in a prominent communication area in my classroom that indicate the things my students MUST do on a daily basis when the assigned work is complete, the activities they MAY do, and any reminders about things to CATCH UP on.

And food makes everything a little more fun, doesn't it?!

Picture of Must Do, May Do, and Catch Up early finisher boards
Want to grab a copy of these cuties for use in your own classroom? Click HERE or on the image above to subscribe to my email newsletters and you'll receive these as a free bonus!

If you're stuck for early finisher activities, here are my picks for primary and junior classrooms, both available in my Teachers Pay Teachers store:

I have more ideas for your early finishers in this blog post:

Image of Noggle board and text, "Are Your Early Finishers Making The Most of Their Time?"

You can also find resources and strategies on this Pinterest board.

If you have enjoyed this post, please share it with friends and colleagues on Facebook or pin it on Pinterest:

Image early finisher posters with text, "How to Make Your Expectations For Your Early Finishers Clear."

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