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Fast Finisher Activities Made Easy

What is a Fast Finisher?

Fast finisher activities are for students who usually complete the given tasks before their classmates. It’s important to keep these students engaged in work that allows them to obtain a deeper understanding of the material you are working on. This eliminates classroom behavior problems that occur because students are bored. You will never have to hear, “What do I do now?” with this resource!

I typically use this system during independent work time because:

You can teach your students to prioritize and complete missing assignments with this easy classroom management system!

When work time begins, I post the condiment clipart characters on my whiteboard. Good news! If you want a digital version for Google Slides, you can purchase it here.

I will briefly explain each category of tasks so you can get started!

What is a Must Do Activity?

The first thing students must complete are their “Must-Do assignments” This is the work that needs to be completed during that day or class period. They cannot move on to other activities until this is step is completed.

What is a Catch Up Activity?

Next, if students do not finish an assignment in class they put it in their “Ketchup” folder. This is represented by a ketchup bottle because it sounds similar. If they turn in an incomplete assignment, I staple a “Ketchup Packet” on the assignment to let the student know they need to complete it before they choose a pickle or mayo activity.

“OH my word!! This has been a life-changer in my classroom. Not only does it make my teacher life easier, but my kids love it!! They always remind me to make sure to do the MUST-do and the MAY-do before we go into independent work or small groups. Thank you for creating a fun and engaging way to keep my kids on task! This is amazing!”

YeeHaw in Kindergarten

What is a Pick One Activity?

Third, have a special basket in my room with file folders called the Pickle Basket. In each of these folders, there is a fun extension activity. (Usually freebies I find on TPT.) The students know when they have completed their Must Do and Catch Up work, they can choose something from the Pickle Basket.

What is a May Do Activity?

Finally, The May Do activities usually included silent reading, coloring, or an educational computer game. See a list of ideas here.

This has to be my most favourite classroom management strategy. My kids love it! Everyone who comes into my classroom comments on it and I have to say it’s not my idea! I love the puns. It’s cute, it’s clever, it works! Thank you!”


As you can see, this system will get you caught up on your day, identify your students who need extra help, and create a more organized classroom atmosphere.

Try these classroom community activities next!

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