Names: Danielle Quigley, Emily Hite, Laurie Goode

Problem Focus: Eliminating wasted time between activities in the classroom.



Possible Solutions:
1) Keeping a book on or in the students' desks at all times.
2) Having assignments that are due at the end of the week rather than at the end of the day so they have the whole week to work on them in their have free time.
3) When working on final drafts, the students who finish first will be able to type their drafts instead of writing them. At the elementary age, most students type slower than they write.
4) Playing calming music while students do independent work.
5) use the students who finish early as teacher helpers to run things to the office, file papers, etc.
6) Bookbags with activities related to the weeks lessons to pass around when students finish.
7) Centers set up around the room that students can immediately go to when finished with their classroom work. Students can be assigned to a specific center weekly so they know where to go without having to ask.

Emily's Cooperating Teacher's Feedback:
1) I love this one. This gives leveled assignments to the students to take advantage of when they finish work early or need extension. It also allows the teacher to have time with those that need longer without having to create so many assignments.
2) I think this one is great too because the extra time allows students who have after school obligations to complete homework when they have time and still allows them to make deadlines (reasonable responsibility).
3) Great as well, it allows early finishers to have something besides reading to look forward too and allows those with skills with the computer and those with handwriting difficulties outlets within the school day.
4) Calming music has a lot of researched based proponents. If you would like to try this in our room, I am all for it. I broke the one CD I had with this kind of music.
5) The kids like this because it fosters a sense of ownership in the classroom. And creates less busy work for us.
6) Love the bookbags! Great extension and review…we can do this too if you would like. We can use graphic organizers and the like.
7) I like this too! Are the book bags similar to the centers? This is really good for the primary grades. Be careful of overloading the classroom teacher with too much to keep up with, if you did the bookbags as well.

I like how self guided the work is!

Laurie's CT Feedback:
1) Yes, Always do that.
2) Is this classwork or homework? We work on homework during classtime. It breaks up the assignments and helps keep the students' attention longer.
3) Yes. Currently trying this and it even helped the student want to write more!

4) Some clasrooms do this; I never have so I don't know the usefulness.
5) Is this really avoiding dead time? I think of dead time as time right before centers or lunch when students have finished work early.
6) This is cumbersome, too much. What about an activity center for math and other enrichment activities? For example, using file folder centers.
7) See above.

Other suggestions: Have a collection of books for students (similar to #1); use flash cards; read poetry; quick review games (around the world, hangman, baseball)

Danielle's CT Feedback:
My cooperating teacher liked all seven of our solutions. The majority of her students are gifted and above grade level students; therefore, she likes to have ways to extend what she is doing in the classroom for her students that finish early. One way to avoids dead time in the classroom is that she gives students mini research projects. She will take an aspect of what she is teaching in the library and ask the student(s) to research it. They will then present to the class what they found. She said the solutions we can up with she uses more during the first semester. The first semester she is still trying to get to know the students and get a feel for what they are capable of. After the first semester, she likes to veer away from the solutions like the ones we have created and work towards solutions like individual research projects.

REFINED SOLUTIONS:
1) Keeping a book on or in the students' desks at all times, as well as having a classroom library that students can easily access for independent reading books.
2) Having assignments that are due at the end of the week rather than at the end of the day so they have the whole week to work on them in their have free time.
3) When working on final drafts, the students who finish first will be able to type their drafts instead of writing them. At the elementary age, most students type slower than they write. It has the potential to motivate students to write!
4) Bookbags with activities related to the weeks lessons to pass around when students finish. This is not something that would be required to complete but is simply for the students' own enrichment.
5) Centers set up around the room that students can immediately go to when finished with their classroom work. Students can be assigned to a specific center weekly so they know where to go without having to ask. One of these centers could be a computer station in which students use interactive websites, computer games, or SOL review powerpoints.