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    fast finishers workshop
    By scrapbookmom

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    I have been at this for more years than I'd like to admit. I have struggled with the same issue. This year, though, I spoke with a 1st grade teacher who uses the old Workshop Way program, and I have adapted it to my 4th grade class. Now I have a bulletin board with numbered tasks. Students begin each day at #1. The tasks cover many subject areas and are short and kind of fun. The file folders are a part of the tasks.
    Spelling is the 1st activity. I have a set of cards that I rotate with fun spelling activities like mirror-write your spelling words (write frontwards and backwards). Another task is to read an article in a magazine and fill out a short form about what they knew already and what they learned. I have a set of cards with numbers on and the students have to write the number on that day's card and represent the number in words, expanded notation, and an array. I now have a total of 15 activities.
    The most important piece of this whole thing is that the students put the results of their work in their box or cubby to take home at the end of the day. I don't grade it or even look at each piece. I can go to their box and spot check to see if they are indeed working and doing quality work. I may remind a student or the whole class that they need to have more of the tasks finished, or better quality work. Sounds too easy, but it is working! I think the key is that the tasks are short, varied, and kind of fun.

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