This year I have slowed down a bit. I take the extra class period if I need
it. I feel better and the kids work is better. I have a 'finish early box'
(I keep it on the bottom of my art cart, and just tote it around to all my
classes with the rest of my stuff). It has blank paper (extra left-over
sheets), drawing books and some small puzzles. The puzzles have 54 pieces
each and are of famous works of art ( I got them for $1.50 each). Kids that
finish early know thay can do something from the box. I encourage kids to
work together on the puzzles, I'm amazed at how they don't know how to
approach edge pieces and like colors... The kids like having a choice and
keep themselves busy, and it gives the slower kids who are usually doing a
great job the opportunity to finish their project. I used to give out paper
and say "draw" but most kids didn't know what to draw and would waste the
paper. Some kids still do draw on their own. Others love to follow the
instructions in the drawing books.
Also, when I teach a project and I know it will take more than one period, I
only introduce a portion of the project each class and make them stop after a
certain point. I don't have kids completely done after one class while others
have barely begun.
I would love to hear what other teachers do with kids who finish early.
:) Laura Allan