Question – What do you do when students finish early?

Filed Under (Work) by Laura Smith on 23-02-2009

I teach Computer Lab in a K-8 private school.  Depending on the grade level, my classes run anywhere from 30 minutes (K – 1), to 40 minutes (2-5), to 50 minutes (6-8).  Especially for the older students, I allow them to play appropriate games if they have finished their work.  Part of the problem is that the students often work at vastly different paces, and I can’t have them finish it for homework because most of them don’t have the same programs at home that we do in school, so I need to allow class time for the majority of students to finish in class.  However, the more I read on the subject of computer lab management (which is not that much- it’s surprisingly hard to find!), the more I think I should stop doing this.  I realize that it’s an easy solution.  I already write all my own curriculum, with separate lessons for each grade level, integrated with their classroom studies, and to have to write more enrichment lessons for early finishers would pile on even more work.  Plus, the reward of game time is a pretty powerful motivator!  Even if I did go to enrichment activities for early finishers, it seems unfair to me to give them extra work after they already finished the regular assignment! 

So I need your input… What do you do?

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