Oh, those fast finishers: 2 of 2

Copy of Oh, those fast finishers_ 1 of 2

As promised in the previous post, here is my account about experiments with fast finishers.

Procedure:

In both groups, lower and upper secondaries, I used this infographic by Mia MacMeekin to give them ideas for discussion. They had to discuss the activities in mini-groups and choose top 3 that would be fun and also help them learn.

Outcomes:

It was funny how they went from wackier ideas to more responsible choices! At first, sleep was the most popular activity 🙂 They shared their ideas (lower secondaries open class, upper secondaries in mini-groups), I boarded the whole list and then we had a vote (a show of hands) and chose top 3. We agreed to experiment with them for a month and then see if we find them useful. The older ones chose working on long-term projects and vocabulary revision. The younger ones – to play Lego with words, share extra time with other students (more on that below), or do homework. You can see who was feeling more overworked – or more honest!

Impressions:

I loved how they came up with their own improvements – for example, one group suggested that we try just one activity each week; the other added Quizlet to the list. And one student came up with a totally new thing – sharing time. If a stronger student finishes first, they can gift their time to a slower student so that they could do the task better. I love the collaborative side of it, but I’m not sure how we can make this work – yet.

Conclusion:

We always talk about learner autonomy, empowering the learner and all that, but it’s really amazing to see how it can really change things. Those kids are generally quite nice, but yesterday they were more engaged than I’d ever seen them these 2 weeks. Well, I’ll let you know in a month how our little experiment goes.

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