I'm Done Jar 2.0!

My first year of teaching, I created an "I'm Done" jar for my fast finishers and it was seriously amazing! I always had students who finished their "must do's" quickly. They just got it! When they came up to me and exclaimed, "Teacher! I'm done!" I generally would just tell them to go read a book. I wanted to figure out *more* ways to challenge and engage my students who finished quickly. So I complied a list of activities that would be fun and meaningful for my students and stuck them in a jar. It worked wonders!

As the years progress and I learned more ways to incorporate learning activities for my fast finishers, I started to have my students use recording sheets with the "I'm Done" jar. These sheets helped keep my students accountable and gave them an activity to focus on when they were finished with their work. I ALWAYS check my students assignments before they chose a stick from the "I'm Done" jar to make sure that they completed it correctly. After I send them back to fix it 4 times, they get the picture ;)

My goal this summer was to make an "I'm Done Station". This was really a labor of love! I've been working on it for months and I'm finally ready to share it with you guys!
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/All-Done-Now-What-activities-for-fast-finishers-Part-One-858156
Okay, let's start with the "jar"!
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/All-Done-Now-What-activities-for-fast-finishers-Part-One-858156
I found this adorable pail in the Target dollar spot and obviously had to have it! I added scrapbook stickers to it and tied ribbon onto the handle to make it fancy! Of course I had to make the jumbo popsicle sticks fancy too ;) I traced scrapbook paper around each stick and mod podged the paper on. Then I added the labels with mod podge as well {which are included in my download on TpT!}.
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/All-Done-Now-What-activities-for-fast-finishers-Part-One-858156
When my students are "done", they choose a stick from the jar. I have 12 options for them, but I am limiting it to only setting out 6 at a time. This is just a tactic to make the new sticks that much more fascinating when they're introduced ;) I also labeled each stick with an image for my non-readers to be able to understand.

Then I printed out and laminated labels for my plastic drawers. I attached the labels with double stick tape so that they're easy to remove when I want to switch them out.
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/All-Done-Now-What-activities-for-fast-finishers-Part-One-858156
 Aren't these drawers adorable!? When I saw them at Joann's Fabrics and Crafts, I just had to have them!

The icons on the labels match the icons on the sticks, which just happen to match the icons on the recording sheets ;)
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/All-Done-Now-What-activities-for-fast-finishers-Part-One-858156

After some modeling and teaching, all of these activities can be completed independently, giving me time to work with students who may need more help! I also put a completed example sheet in the "I'm Done Station" as a reference. The activities that are too hard for my students to complete independently without being taught how to first are always done together as a class before I put them in the drawers. 

The reading response sheets are probably the ones that need to be modeled the most. We usually complete these sheets together as a class after a read-aloud. Once we do it three or four times, my students are able to complete it by themselves.
Here's an example of one reader's response sheet:
We practice writing the title of the story we read and the author. Then we illustrate a quick picture of what happened at the beginning, middle and end of the story.
When my students are ready, we start to add writing to our responses:
Another class favorite is finding words they know in the book they are reading!


Sometimes I even put the activities in a sheet protector to save paper. Then my students complete it using a dry-erase marker.
If my students run out of time before completing their recording sheet, they put it in their "finish it folder" and take it out the next time they finish their work early.

These recording sheets incorporate reading, writing and math, while encouraging higher level thinking and incorporating Common Core Standards. But they are also really fun! My students love writing letters to their friends and notes to their classmates.

We also love to make up our own stories!
 And draw pictures!

I can't wait to introduce this to my class this year!
Want to make an "I'm Done Station" in your classroom? You can download All Done! Now What? {activities for fast finishers} in my TpT store!

Here's a look at all that's included in the download:
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/All-Done-Now-What-activities-for-fast-finishers-Part-One-858156

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/All-Done-Now-What-activities-for-fast-finishers-Part-One-858156

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/All-Done-Now-What-activities-for-fast-finishers-Part-One-858156

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/All-Done-Now-What-activities-for-fast-finishers-Part-One-858156

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/All-Done-Now-What-activities-for-fast-finishers-Part-One-858156

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/All-Done-Now-What-activities-for-fast-finishers-Part-One-858156

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/All-Done-Now-What-activities-for-fast-finishers-Part-Two-1014469



25 comments

  1. I love your blog and read all the time but I just had to comment... I am so sad that you find reading a book when you finish "boring"! Reading is fun and I hope you pass that attitude on to your class!!!

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  2. Absolutely amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  3. This looks great! I just added it to my wish list! This is just such a great idea and when I have time to make it all I will be using it for sure! I know some kids LOVE reading when they have free time but everyone doesn't so this is a great alternative! Thanks for sharing how you use it!
    Rambling About Reading

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  4. Colleen, I am sad that you interpreted my post in that way! I have deleted it and reworded it so that you can better understand. I do not think reading is boring! Obviously! I loved to read as a child, and I still love to read! I have just found a way to engage my students in other ways that doesn't *just* include reading a book when they are finished with an activity. Of course, reading a book is one of the options I give them, and if you read the rest of this post you can see how I incorporate reading and learning into my classroom every day! Sorry that you misunderstood!

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  5. Great idea! I totally know what you mean. Some kids don't enjoy reading as much as others and you don't want them to ever feel like reading is a punishment for getting their work done quickly!

    Thanks for sharing!

    Mrs. Thompson
    Adventures in Teaching (A First Grade Blog)
    My TpT Store

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  6. This is an awesome idea! I teach 5th grade, but the idea itself is one that i can adapt. Thanks for sharing!

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  7. This is fabulous! I love how the popsicle sticks turned out! Those drawers are so cute too! I think this will make a huge difference in the classroom! I can't wait to try it out!

    ThePolishedTeacher

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  8. L-O-V-E it!!!!! I have one of those pink drawers, empty, in my room... now I clearly need one more to make this complete!
    ❤Teri
    A Cupcake for the Teacher

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  9. Okay this is such a great idea! This year I have a few advanced students and this will be perfect for them! You always have ideas that are tha bomb diggity!!!!

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  10. love this idea!! You always come up with great ideas with a beautiful look!

    jeannie
    A Kindergarten Lifestyle

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  11. Love, love, love this! I, too, always struggle with those super speedy early finishers! This is a great way to get me organized and keep them thinking and learning! Thanks!

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  12. Hi ,

    My name is Martin and I'm a teacher from Canada. I just started a new website called Resources4teaching where educators can buy and sell lessons and educational resources. We are new and are looking for people to join and put up their materials for sale on our website. We are having an iPad draw for the first 100 Vendors who join and upload at least 1 lesson /resource for sale on our website. There are absolutely no fees to join and you earn royalties of 70%. You can visit us at: http://www.resources4teaching.com

    If you know any other teachers who might be interested in this Website, please forward this to them and if you have any questions, feel free to message me.

    Have a great day

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  13. So clever, you are! Love it :)

    Kimberly
    The Learning Tree

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  14. I have always said you should be called Miss Creative! Love these ideas! Love it!!! :)
    Cheryl
    Crayons and Curls

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  15. Love it! We have a room full of Firsties that get up and follow us around when they're done. Ummm-not how we do it in first! Might just have to pass this post along to our kinder teachers ;)

    Such great ideas!
    ~Christy & Tammy
    Fluttering Through First Grade

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  16. I LOVE this idea!! You are so creative! :)

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  17. Excellent! I love this center because it provides students with freedom of choice, promotes independent behavior and keeps them organized. Thanks a million =)

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  18. This is absolutely fantastic - thank you so much for sharing it with everyone!

    from a delighted teacher in Northern Ireland :)

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  19. Wow! This is such a fantastic idea! I was searching for innovative ways to entertain my kinders after being finished with their work. I have an interesting mix of kindergarteners who are divided down the middle - half are meeting standard and half are not in reading. This is a great way to organize those "I'm finished" activities! Thank you for sharing :)

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