The Challenging Case of Fast Finishers in a Mixed Ability Class

We all have more motivated, fast thinking students in our classes. Often we feel guilty that they can’t advance more as they wait for their classmates to finish the tasks given. I got the idea of more tasks for fast finishers from Pinterest pins. Some teachers prepared posters for them, some had jars with reviewing activities. I liked the idea of the jar but  as I move from class to class, it’s difficult for me to carry a jar along with my huge pencil case. Therefore I decided to have an envelope and fill in with creative writing ideas. I prepared colorful pieces of paper and index cards with topics to write. Even with younger learners, I started collecting wonderful paragraphs. Now I’m planning to have a fast finishers corner in the classrooms to showcase these good examples and praise their work.

Some of the writing activities on my cards are 

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Creative Guided Story Writing

 

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I’d like to share a guided writing activity that I adapted for my classes.

Give students a card and ask them to read the instructions.

Tell them they are going to invent a story about what happened to the characters on their cards.

Give them the pre-prepared questions and ask them to answer the questions Tell them these questions will guide them to write their stories. They may add any additional parts to their stories.

You can even give them the characters from the novels or short stories. It can even be a good pre reading activity for a story unit.

I prepared a Google document for the instructions and another for the questions and I’ll add more when I come up with an interesting idea. May I also invite you to add your instructions and questions?

Note: You can prepare your cards on powerpoint slides and save them as JPEG, print and laminate them for many uses.

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Yes ! Language is a virus :)

Have you come across this hilarious site.?

 

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“Every day, write a letter that will never be sent to a person who does or does not exist, or to a number of people who do or do not exist.”

The sentence I copied and pasted from Language is a Virus is a writing task. Isn’t it very creative?

If you visit the site you will find writing games, text generators, writing tasks, poetry guide and really cool writing exercises.

I tried some of them and I’m now thinking this site will be a place where I will visit very often in the next school year.

A Poetry Lesson

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1. Choose a poem to read with your students.

2. Write the title on the board and ask students to predict what the poem is about.

3. Divide the class in groups.

4. Give each group a copy of a word cloud you prepared previously.

5. Ask students to write a poem using the words from the word clouds.

6. Compare the poems of each group. (You may want to ask each group read the poems in their groups and mark them according to a criteria you prepared)

7. Distribute the original poem and see the similarities and differences.

8. Discuss the poem

9. Ask students to write their feelings about the poem.

Follow up:

  • Students can create glogs for their poems.
  • Students in groups can draw the picture of the poem.
  • Students in groups can prepare a wall display with their poems and the original one and the word cloud and drawings.

Alternative: You can do the same activity with a song.

More Go and Open the door poems here and the poem is also here