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How to Introduce Early Finisher Task Cards

Early finishers are something every classroom has. Some early finishers truly are quick with their work and need something else to do. Others simply sped through their work because they didn’t want to take the time to do it well. To accommodate both types of early finishers, using early finisher activities in the form of early finisher task cards is a great way to provide extra practice and keep students busy. 

What are early finisher activities?

Early finisher activities are anything that you have ready in your classroom for students who finish their work early to do instead of causing mischief and mayhem in your classroom. These activities can include worksheets, games, books to read, and task cards. 

What are early finisher task cards?

Early finisher task cards are an activity to be completed independently by students. Task cards provide a game-like experience for early finishers to complete. The only supply you will need is dry-erase markers and some clothespins!

Each task card is specifically designed for a different grade level and subject matter. These activities are designed to accompany your lessons so that early finishers can review the lesson material and continue to learn while they’re enjoying the game-like setup of early finisher task cards. 

I have developed many different early finisher task cards for many different grade levels for you and your classroom. They have been a great success in my classroom, and I want to pass them along to you.

The Early Finishers Activities Task Card Bundle for Pre-K is specifically designed for preschool learners. Early Finishers Activities Task Card Bundles for Kindergarten, Early Finishers Activities Task Card Bundles for First Grade, and Early Finishers Activities Task Card Bundles for Second Grade all contain specific learning material for those grades.

Within these resources, you can find bundles for the whole year, or just small monthly bundles to suit your needs. 

How do I set up early finisher activities task cards?

Great question. I suggest figuring out where you’ll keep your early finisher task cards and let the students know where they are, when it’s appropriate to use them, and how to use the task cards.

For more detailed instructions, check out Kindergarten Early Finishers – Setting Up for Success. Throughout that article, I lay out exactly how I set up early finisher task cards, how I store them, and how I introduce them in my classroom. 

Model how to use early finisher task cards. 

As we all know, many students are visual learners. When you take the time to go through expectations for using early finisher task cards, more students will remember than if you simply tell them.

Pull out a task card to use as an example. Model to students how you complete the activities on the task cards. Next, show students how to clean the cards when they finish.

There should be no marks that the next person will need to wipe off of the laminated card. Demonstrate how to return the cards to their box and to put the box away. 

This takes a couple of weeks at the beginning of the school year, but if you take the time to explain everything clearly you’ll be amazed at how independent your students are with this system.

Allow students to explore. 

After modeling and demonstrating the correct way to use the early finisher activities task cards, allow your students time to explore the task cards. Working in partner pairs, students help remind one another of the procedures.

This hands-on portion of learning how to use the task cards will further cement the procedures into your students’ minds. Practice cleaning up task cards. It should take no more than two minutes to clean, store, and return the box of task cards to the shelf. 

Give students 15 minutes to practice and then put them back properly. Walk around the room as the students are working on them and make sure to dole out LOTS of praise! Students will catch on to the routines quickly!

Use the early finisher task cards. 

As you start to get into a regular curriculum routine in week 2 or 3 you can start letting the students use the cards independently.

They’ll need some reminders about cleanliness and organization throughout the year, but if you put in the work at the beginning of the year your students will be able to manage this system on their own!

Why do you need an early finisher activities system?

The early finisher system in my class helped me to make sure my students were still doing something academic when they finished their work.

The game-like nature of the task cards makes students excited to work with them. Personally, I loved the fact that I finally found something that didn’t require more copies, I didn’t have to grade anything, and that I could store in a neat and organized system!

The other HUGE benefit for me was the extra time I got to spend with struggling students while all my other kids were actively engaged in learning independently!

Want to try out some FREE early finisher task cards and see if they will work in your classroom? Just fill out the info. below!

Get your FREE Early Finisher Task Cards

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