I think everyone has that one or two students who are always finished first, even when you give them slightly harder work. They understand what they are doing and rip through the assignment. You check the work and there are few if any mistakes. What do you do at this point?
I finally found a solution which is working out but it means I have to be ready with the "next" assignment. I let them work on the next assignment so when the rest of the class is ready to do it, they are my "assistants".
They help me by going around the room answering questions so I don't feel like a gerbil running around in circles. This helps these students retain the material better and it implements peer tutoring which has been found to be beneficial. As my students sometimes comment "The explain it in a way I understand better."
I am starting to have students actually ask me for work so they can help out in class. Last night at study hall, I had two students who completed Friday's work so they can help me in the room. They think its cool being totally caught up and ahead. I like it because it keeps me so I"m thinking further than just the lesson I'm on.
I admit that with four weeks of school left, I"m to the point of looking at my day by day teaching rather than planning ahead. This also gives me something to add to my planning for next year. Yes I"m one of those teachers who plan ahead, create lesson plans, and decide how to teach things. I don't rely on "last years" plans because every year I have a different group of students with different needs.
Another reason I like doing this is simply that it is moving it from being teacher run to being more student run. When students take ownership of their learning, they are more likely to do it and learn better. I'm happy with this development.