Because we teach in a public school system, we usually have a mixture of ability levels in our foreign language classes. While we are offering help to students who are having trouble contemplating a subject, there are often those students who understand the content and finish earlier than the rest of the class. Which is when we hear, “I’m done. Now what??”
Students who finish fast often fall into one of 2 categories:
-the quiet type
-the bored “trouble maker”
The quiet type are those students who have a great work ethic. These are the students who already have a book to read or who have brought a bit of homework from another class to work on because they are used to finishing first. They’re nothing to worry about.
Except…. Are they getting as much intellectual stimulation in your class as they deserve?
The bored “trouble makers” are those students who are not actually trouble makers. They finish early because they are bright students, but then they don’t know what to do with themselves. They might start to wander the classroom or try to talk to students who are still trying to work– making them appear as though they are trouble makers.
And…. Are they getting as much intellectual stimulation in your class as they deserve?
One useful way to keep Fast Finishers academically focused (whether they realize it or not!) is to apply a Fast Finishers program to your classes.
I have an Autumn Fast Finishers bulletin board in my classroom and the idea is to have a number of activities available for students to work on when they’re done with their regular work.
There are a variety of activities; writing, reading, speaking, pronunciation, partner work, artistic activities, over 20 to choose from. The students have a tracking sheet and know that they aren’t to bother you while you’re helping other students! (There are several posters included in this packet so students know to only ask you to check their Fast Finishers work if they KNOW you’re not busy!)
Check out this interactive, creative Spanish packet at my TeachersPayTeachers store! Let me know what you think! I find it incredibly useful, and I hope that you can apply this teaching concept to your Spanish classes as well.