I'm Done!

Oh those dreaded words we here when a student finishes early. We always plan for lessons to be completed at an appropriate time, but let's face it- students all work at different paces!  So what are some things you do with your students to keep them engaged and occupied? Here are a list of ideas I have done and still do:

  • Along with basic free draw, I include coloring sheets. I have "connect the dots" sheets for my younger students, mazes, color by number sheets, and use a lot of photocopied images from the book "Super Doodles" by David Mostyn.
  • I also offer the choice of "Free Clay." I have some extra modeling clay that the students are free to use and build with. This is a great way to exercise their molding skills when we get into their ceramic projects.
  • I found these great building sets at Toys-R-Us that allow students to think three dimensionally and structurally.
  • I have a book basket filled with childrens books they can quietly read by them self or with a friend. My students particularly enjoy the "I Spy" series. 
  • Once in a blue moon I will let the students participate in "Free Paint."
  • I have created three dies that the students roll which offers them a starting point to a free draw when they are uninspired. One die includes one word on each face: draw, collage, construct, weave, write,  draw (again); The second: colored pencil, marker, crayons, oil pastels, pencil, your choice; and The Last: still life, portrait, pattern, texture, landscape, choose 2 (where they incorporate two ideas from this die). When rolled, they end up with a combination similar to this: Collage, Crayons, and Pattern.
  • At my Middle School, I give each child a "sketchbook" on the first day of art class. There is a list of about 35 prompts for them to complete. They are very specific and I emphasize that they need to take up a whole page and color in neatly and completely. Every time they finish three, age appropriate sketchbook drawings, they are able to pick something out of my prize box. 
  • I also have tried a box with similar prompts on strips of paper that a student would pick out at random and complete. 
  • In the past I have began a large group project which students can participate in when they are complete. These have included large murals or paper mache projects. 
  • One last option I offer my Middle School students is to work on homework from another class.

How about you? What are some ideas that you incorporate in your students' "done time?"