I get to a point ( not too far off my schedule) where I say, this is the last
day we are working in class. The students are given a choice to come in
during recess and work or not finish. You are right...generally students who
never get finished are the students who are messing around, not listening to
directions, etc. I refuse to let them waste class time. May sound strict
for ele. but I believe in setting the tone early. I tell the kids ahead of
time when this lesson will be done. If I see that all the students need
extra time, then I give it. If it is a few, then I tell them no more class
time, we have to move on.
Hope this helps. Nothing magic....just stick to your guns. My biggest
mistake my first year was giving the kids too much time to do things. For
instance, clay, always finish in one class period. It never got better the
more time I gave them. In fact, the more time I gave them, the more they
smooshed it up because it had a "mistake" in it! aaaaagggghhhhhhhhh!!!