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12 Fast Finisher Activities (with a Freebie) for the Online Classroom

Hey there VIPKID teachers! Picture this! You are teaching a regular student and they are doing great. Every concept is clicking, they are reading fluently on each slide and their pronunciation is perfect. You cruise through the lesson and before you know it. Bam! You are out of slides. The problem is that you need to teach for 25 minutes but you have only taught for 20. Yikes! What do you do for the next 5 minutes? Hint - tic-tac-toe will not last that long. Keep reading to see 12 activities (plus a Freebie to download) to do when your online students finish early. 

Check out this video to see some of these games in action with examples. 


Ok, before we get to the activities let's go over some guidelines. These games and activities should be extensions of the lesson and/or rapport building exercises. Yes, you want the student to have fun but you also need them to be learning and having a conversation. Try to tie in the lesson whenever possible. First, you should review (go back in the lesson) anything the student did not understand or get correctly. Then use these ideas to extend that knowledge or learn more about the student.

Take into consideration the ability and level of the student. Think about the last exercise class you went to. They have the girl on the right moving slower or doing less weight or the girl on the left going double time or jumping higher. I have tried to include some adaptations for lower or upper level students with each activity so that your students can get the most out of these extensions. 

12 Fast Finisher Activities + One Bonus

1- Pictionary  - Grab your whiteboard or use the last blank slide in the lesson. Start drawing and have the student guess what it is. Even if they get it right away, finish the draw and extend with vocabulary and full sentences. Then switch so they get a turn to draw too. 

2- Read a story -  I like to keep 5-10 books in my classroom that can be used in a variety of lessons to have students listen or read after class. Most of these are old baby books with numbers and the alphabet. But some are picture books for young readers with topics like animals, feelings, faces, etc. These are all great for students to learn vocabulary and practice reading in another context. 

3- Guess what's in the bag -  Find an empty gift bag or box and put something in it. The students will start to guess what it is. For younger students you might give clues or show them a piece of the object. For older students, practice having them ask questions. 

4 - Scavenger hunt -  Let's get those kids moving! You can have them find something that relates to the lesson. Do you have a lamp in your room? Or you can always default to different colors. Can you find something pink? For older students you can time them and have a conversation about the item. They have more of the vocabulary and this is a good way to use it and learn more about them. 

5 - Charades -  Let's use that TPR! These work great for building those action words or verbs! Think about it, how do you draw "pull". Much easier to act it out! Take turns with the student and try to use the vocabulary from the lesson. I love this screen shot of Nancy acting out "fishing" from the video above. 

6 - Show and Tell  - Your students will love to see all the fun props you have hidden off screen or videos of your dog! This usually leads to them wanting to show you something from their home too. It's so fun to see what they end up bringing to the class. 

7 - Guess the word - Take the vocabulary words and have the students guess letters to figure out the word. Adaptations of this include hangman, build a snowman, or apples off the tree with the Apples to Stars app. There are so many apps that do this as well and would be easy to play from your phone. 

8 - Movement games  - Those little ones have been sitting for a long time (and so have you). Why not get that blood pumping with some movement. Do some yoga/stretching while reviewing parts of the body. Guess the animal by moving how it moves (think jumping like a kangaroo). For younger students you can have them mirror your actions without adding confusing incidental language. For older students you can do an action and have them add on to it. Go back and forth until someone doesn't remember it. If all else fails - play the classic Simon Says. 

9 - Hide and go seek - Pick up that computer and take them through your house to find something. Can you find the baby, ball, tv, bed? Have them tell you which room to go to. Great review for things in the house! 

10 - House Tour - I love doing this at Christmas time so my students can see my tree and decorations. But you can really do this any time of year! My students also love seeing the sun coming up as their sun is setting. Share your world and they will want to share theirs too.  

11 - Singing  - Grab the toy mic and start singing some fun songs. You can do the classics like "Wheels on the Bus" or bust out some favorite Disney songs too. This is a favorite for a lot of my regular students. 

12 -Guess the sound - I will pull up the different ring tones on my phone and play them for the students to try and guess what it is. It's great for really distracted students to help them sit down and focus. 

BONUS *Share your family/pets* - Who is in your family? My sons love to say hi and talk with my students when we are finished with the lesson. I have also introduced my baby if she wakes up at the end. And I recently show to share my dog with a regular who loves dogs! It was so fun to see her puppy too. 

 A great way to introduce these activities is to give them a choice between two. That way they feel involved and you can see more of what their personality is drawn to. Some kids don't want to move around the house and others will hate reading books. Giving them the choice makes it feel like a reward while staying in their comfort zone. 

I hope you enjoyed these tips! Feel free to grab this freebie and use in your classroom as a reminder of these extensions or to help students choose their game. 

Happy teaching friends! 

- Teacher Stephanie


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