As much as I would love to have a collection of perfectly timed activities in which all of my students completed their tasks as THE. EXACT. MOMENT… that is not reality. Many of my station activities are never ending, meaning they are never done. However, a few of the activities I have do have a beginning, middle, and end.
Let me show you what I have been doing… and I sort of love it!
Dessert Tubs (Early finisher tubs)
I started out by making 5 “Dessert Tubs.” I got the term “dessert” from my clever friend, Cara Carroll. That is what she called them and… well… I DO love dessert!
Each tub has a number (1-5) this is the order in which each tub needs to be returned to the shelf. Each tub also has a dessert label with a shape on it.
You may recall that I give each table (group of students) a shape. I refer to them as the “Square table… Hexagon table…”
You might also recall that they use this shape to help organize their station work. When they finish their station work, they place the paper in this magazine holders until we check our station work. You can read about how this works by clicking HERE.
When my students have finished an activity, they simply go and grab their “dessert tub.” This has cut down on the visiting and gypsy-like movements in the classroom. My students ALWAYS have the option to read a book at their desk instead.
What goes in the tub?
* I wanted them to be self-explanatory and something they were already familiar with.
* I wanted them to be “paperless” meaning… no paper product. Students may only be at these task for a few minutes. I don’t want MORE paper in my life… save the TREES!
* I wanted them to be meaningful practice.
Here are a few things we are using right now.
I may have a million of these little ABC games. They are quick and fun to play. They can be played with a partner or they can pretend to play with “Dexter” (my dog… who is not in the classroom). This always makes them giggle. You can find these ABC games HERE.
I also add the Math Work Station cards to the bin. They can sort the cards or play a game with them. You can find the Math Work Station cards HERE.
As the year progresses I will add CVC and CVCe word cards to this bin. You can find those games HERE and HERE.
Time Me! is a fun activity. We start the year with alphabet cards then move onto sight words. You can create several sets of cards and therefore differentiate this activity. SIMPLE!
You can find the Dolch Sight Word Game: Time Me! sets HERE.
These are editable, so you can add your own sight words.
These binder rings are nice for keeping cards from getting mixed up.
Sequence is a fun game that my students seem to never grow weary of. Students will spin a spinner then look for a picture that starts the same. The example below offers blends. BUT (once again) I have bunch of versions… from letter ID to more complex phonics.
They are also editable, so you can add your own words. Big foam dice are available HERE.
Bump is a fun game. They are included in most of my Math Work Station units.
We also have math fluency games in the tubs!
At the end of the day, I pull the “dessert” label off and move it on down the line. Each day the students will have another variety of meaningful tasks they can work on.
You can download your own “dessert” image by clicking HERE. This will be a PNG picture image that you can use to create bins that match your classroom needs… for FREE!
|Frame: Ashley Hughes. Clip art: Whimsy Clips|
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