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Quiet Early Finisher Ideas for After an Assessment

Check out this large list of quiet early finisher ideas for after an assessment.

You gotta love them… unless they’re bored, and then they can just be pure menaces. You know what I’m talking about… early finishers.

Yep! Those kiddos just get it, and they are moving at a pace that gives them too much extra time to mess around, distract others, and generally just get bored.

One of the hardest parts of teaching a group of 20+ kids is figuring out how to differentiate for all the outliers. The kids who move more slowly than others, and the ones who move much faster than others.

In this post, we are specifically talking about the latter. The kiddos who are quick to complete tasks or finish assessments and find themselves needing other ways to use their time and talents to build on their strengths.

If you are relatively new to teaching and you want more tips on dealing with early finishers, check out this post for more help!

Here are 8 QUIET early finisher ideas for after an assessment!

8 Quiet Early Finisher Ideas

#1 | Passion Projects

Encourage students to delve deeper into a topic of their interest through independent research projects. 

I like to provide students with a list of suggested subjects or allow them to choose their own and pitch their idea to you. 

Students can explore their topics using lots of different types of resources. Then they can present their findings through written reports, presentations, or even creative projects like posters or dioramas. 

If you have a lot of students who are advanced learners, then you may want to allow a lot of choice in these projects and topics. If you give students the space to surprise you, they often will!

#2 | Writing Prompts: HOLIDAY OF THE DAY 

Writing is an excellent way for students to express their thoughts and creativity, and with the Holiday of the Day Writing Prompts, it is easy to have a writing prompt ready to go for students to work on when they’re done with an assessment. 

The greatest part about the Holiday of the Day Writing Prompts is that they are specific to that specific day, so they are higher-interest than a lot of other activities that you could plan for students to work on!

#3 | Math Challenges and Puzzles

When you start adding in puzzles and challenges, math can be super fun…and challenging! 

If you have some early finishers who love math, provide them with math-related brain teasers, Sudoku puzzles, or logic problems. You can also use math task cards with different levels of difficulty. These activities will promote critical thinking and problem-solving skills and reinforce math concepts. 

These kinds of activities are easy to have on hand and ready to go, and many of them are created with different levels in mind, so you can have different bins or folders for different levels of activities to allow for students to pick-their-challenge so to speak!

#4 | Artistic Expression

Give students an opportunity to engage in a little creativity through art. 

During an assessment, set up an art corner with drawing materials, colored pencils, markers, and sketchbooks. You can provide drawing prompts or encourage them to create their own artwork. If you are working with the Holiday of the Day Writing Prompts, maybe you can create a drawing prompt that aligns with that day’s celebration. If not, themes like nature, emotions, or favorite characters can spark their imagination and allow them to develop their artistic skills.

8 quiet ideas for early finishers after an assessment

#5 | Vocabulary Building

By introducing word games and challenges, early finishers can work on quietly building their vocabulary skills. 

Word puzzles such as crosswords or word searches using academic or thematic vocabulary encourage students to use the new words in context through sentence writing or storytelling exercises. 

You may even find some new vocabulary apps or online platforms that you can have ready to pull up just for these moments!

#6 | Independent Reading

Promote a love for reading by dedicating time for independent reading. 

If you have a good classroom library or if your students visit your school library regularly, this is a great time to give them a chance to read the books they’ve been checking out. 

Silent reading is one of the OG great quiet early finisher ideas, but don’t let this be your constant fall-back activity for these students. Try out some of the other ideas on this list to help engage their interests in a variety of ways.

#7 | Technology-Based Activities:

It’s time to bust out those techie skills and set up some computers with some fun, interactive educational activities on the class computers. 

This is a good time to pull up educational websites, digital quizzes, or coding platforms. Just keep an eye out and monitor the students so they don’t start to stray while on the computers… if you get my drift!

#8 | Close Reading with Mystery Pictures

Lastly, one of my favorite quiet early finisher ideas for after an assessment is to have some Close Reading with Mystery Pictures set out for students to work on. Since these Close Reads include reading comprehension questions, coloring, and holiday or monthly themes, it is easy to have one that will feel like a natural transition activity for your early finishers! 

Since each set comes with 3 passages, you can either give students the option of picking from one of the three or setting out the one you want them to work on specifically.

Especially for those classes that frequently use these Close Reads with Mystery Pictures in class, this is a great way to shift students into a quiet activity that they are familiar with and can work on without any teacher help.

8 quiet early finisher ideas

As you decide on quiet early finisher ideas for after an assessment, consider the students you expect to need the activities. If you think that most of the class will finish quickly, and just a few students will need more time, a no/low-prep activity like the close reads or the computer-based programs will keep students working individually.  

Unfortunately, the art center only works if the number of students using that area stays pretty low, so that may be a good option to have ready if you think just a few students may finish early.

Each assessment is different, and your needs for early finishers will change with each one. Try out different options from this list, and see what you are most excited about or what works best for your students!

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