October 05, 2005
In my room, students are expected to have a book at their desk at all times. Anytime they finish their work they can read, which they usually do. Then depending on what time of day it is determines what other options they have. If it's math time and they have finished a practice page quickly they have the option of walking around, with permission of course, to help other students who are still working. I also have some folder games that I purchased & put together. I pull the games that relate to what we're covering and set them out for students to work on individually when they finish their work. If it's reading time they should obviously be reading a book, working on a book talk, writing me a letter about what they are reading, or listening to a book on tape. During writer's workshop they can be writing a free choice story, publishing something, conferencing with a friend, looking for a book to use as a model of what to write, etc. Any other time of the day they have the option to read quietly at their seat, clean out their desk, reorganize their binder, update their assignment notebook, or I've even been known to have them dust the shelves off! That will teach them to rush through their work!