The Done Deal




The second most frequently asked question in the classroom is, "What do we do when we’re done?




In my classroom, I use the 1.00 Dollar word activity for early finishers. It's a very motivating and exciting activity, and my students even spend their lunch time looking for 1.00 dollar words. The idea is basically finding a word and then adding the letters where a=1, b=2 and so on ...z=26. If the sum is equal to 100 then it's a 1.00 word and that student gets one point extra credit. This great activity enhances addition and vocabulary skills.

- Laura Audi, grade 5

I leave one bulletin board for the children to decorate. They can use this to display anything that connects to something we've explored in class. Students may choose to decorate the board with photos from home, writing samples, illustrations, song lyrics (be careful with this), print ads, etc. And for those who do not finish early, the teacher needs to give them a free pass from time to time. Every youngster deserves the opportunity to shine.

- Pat Devitto, grade 4

We write book and movie reviews to be posted on a bulletin board in my room.  I let the kids type them out and find a picture of it to go with.  When it gets full, the old ones come down and the new ones go up.  Kids love typing their work and playing with the different fonts and also printing out the picture to go with the book or movie. 

-Paul Yoakam, grade 5

The children create a country chain (start with a country the next country starts with the end letter, i.e., England, Denmark etc., or they describe how to improve something (mobile phone, etc.) or design the perfect something (superhero).

-Brittany, grade 4

I make challenge folders for the few that are really a step ahead. I fill it with reading comprehension (usually on nonfiction topics), math riddles, crossword puzzles, and Sudoku. The kids love it and the parents seem to like it too!

-Angela, grade 3

I always try to have a flow chart of work/ideas displayed in the classroom, so that my early finishers know exactly what to do next. This may be a related craft activity or piece of artwork or project work. For younger children I set up a simple activity or investigation that can be ongoing, again relating to the work/topic taking place that day.

-Sara, grade 2

In the past I have had the kids keep Do/Done folders in their
desks. Then once a week I would look at the Done side to see
what was completed.

-Beatrice, grade 3

Learn to lead your own parade! 



Discover the meaning behind these sobriquets (nicknames)



Historical Figures








Earl of Warwick


Duke of Wellington

King Maker


Iron Duke


Erwin Rommel


Florence Nightingale

Desert Fox


Lady with the Lamp

Francisco Franco

El Cauclillo


Geoffery Chaucer

Father of English Poetry


Joan of Arc

Maid of Orleans


Lal Bahadur Shastri

Man of Peace


M K Gandhi

Mahatma, Father of the Nation


Napolean Bonaparte

Man of Destiny


Otto Von Bismark

Man of Blood and Iron


Queen Elizabeth I

Maiden Queen


Rajinder Singh




Samuel Clemens

Mark Twain


Sarojini Naidu

Nightingale of India
 Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah Lion of Kashmir


Vallabhai Patel


Strong Man of India


Walter Scott


Wizard of the North


William Gladstone


Grand Old Man of Britain


William Shakespeare


Bard of Avon


Younger Pitt


Great Commoner


Ronald Reagan The Great Communicator

Andrew Jackson Old Hickory

Charles Edward Stuart The Young Pretender

Jackson Pollock (painter) Jack the Dripper

Queen Mary Bloody Mary

Attila The Scourge of God

Edward Teach Blackbeard

Edward Heath Incredible Sulk

Huey Long Kingfish

Henry Clay Great Compromiser

William Corrigan Wrong Way Corrigan

Mother Courage Bella S. Abzug
His Rotundity John Adams
The Great Stone Face Sherman Adams
Elegant Arthur Chester Alan Arthur
Old Bullion Thomas Hart Benton
Hip Pocket Harry Harry A. Blackmun
Governor Moonbeam Edmund G. Brown, Jr.
The Silver-Tongued Orator William J. Bryan
The Peerless Leader William J. Bryan
Bachelor President James Buchanan
Buffalo Hangman Stephen Grover Cleveland
The Comeback Kid William J. Clinton
Father of the Erie Canal De Witt Clinton
Silent Cal Calvin Coolidge
The Whisperer Charles Curtis
The Boss Richard J. Daly
Senator Pothole Alfonse M. D’Amato
The Hammer Tom DeLay
The Wizard of Ooze Everett M. Dirksen
The Pink Lady Helen Gahagan Douglas
The Little Giant Stephen A. Douglas
Honey Fitz John Francis Fitzgerald
The Pathfinder John C. Fremont
Boatman Jim James Garfield
Cactus Jack John Nance Garner
Unconditional Surrender Grant Ulysses S. Grant
Lion of Vicksburg Ulysses S. Grant
Tippecanoe William Henry Harrison
Lemonade Lucy Lucy Webb Hayes
His Fraudulency Rutherford B. Hayes
Old Eight to Seven Rutherford B. Hayes
The Great Dissenter Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
Great Engineer Herbert Hoover
Sage of Monticello Thomas Jefferson
Man of the People Thomas Jefferson
Tennessee Tailor Andrew Johnson
Landslide Lyndon Lyndon B. Johnson
The Little Flower Fiorello H. LaGuardia
Honest Abe Abraham Lincoln
The Great Emancipator Abraham Lincoln
The Rail-Splitter Abraham Lincoln
Princess Alice Alice Roosevelt Longworth
Mr. Clean Edmund S. Muskie
Tricky Dick Richard Nixon
Tail Gunner Joe Joseph R. McCarthy
Father of the Constitution James Madison
Handsome Frank Franklin Pierce
Squire of Hyde Park Franklin D. Roosevelt
The New Dealer Franklin D. Roosevelt
The Bull Moose Theodore Roosevelt
The Hero of San Juan Hill Theodore Roosevelt
Bush’s Brain Karl Rove
The Governator Arnold Schwarzenegger
The Happy Warrior Alfred E. Smith
The Happy Warrior Hubert Humphrey
Mr. Republican Robert A. Taft
Old Rough and Ready Zachary Taylor
Man of Independence Harry Truman
Boss Tweed William M. Tweed
His Accidency John Tyler
Big Daddy Jesse Unruh
Old Kinderhook Martin Van Buren
The Little Magician Martin Van Buren
The Night Mayor Jimmy Walker
The Father of His Country George Washington
Defender of the Constitution Daniel Webster
Schoolmaster in Politics Woodrow Wilson
Traveling Sam Samuel W. Yorty





Aberdeen, Scotland The Granite City

Africa The Dark Continent

Amristsar, India The City of the Golden Temple

Atlantic Ocean The Herring Pond

Bangalore, India The Garden City of India

Beijing, The ForbiddenCity

Bombay, India The Gateway of India

Broadway, New York The Great White Way

Burma (Mayanmar) The Land of the Golden Pagoda

Calcutta, India The City of Palaces

Canada The Land of Maple

Chicago, USA Windy City, Second City

Cochin, India The Venice of the East

Cuba The Pearl of the Antilles

Egypt The Gift of the Nile

Finland The Land of Thousand Lakes

Gibraltar The Key of the Mediterranean

River Hwang Ho, China The Sorrow of China

Ireland The Emerald Island

Jaipur The Rose Pink City

New Orleans The Big Easy

Norway Land of the Midnight Sun

Paris The City of Light

Rome The City of Seven Hills, The Eternal City

Thailand Land of the White Elephant

Washington D.C. The City of Magnificent Distances



Fourth Estate The press

Foggy Bottom The United States State Department

The Big Stick Theodore Roosevelt's Policy

The New Deal Franklin Roosevelts Ploicy

The New Frontier John Kenndey's Policy

The Great Society Lyndon Johnson's Policy

The Old Lady of Threadneedle Street The Bank of England

Grand Old Party The Republican Party

Grits The Liberal Party (Canada)




Cartoon stories

Three illustrations with captions

A machine of the future

Definitions of 5 verbs

A shoe company has asked you to design

 their newest basketball shoe. 





Word Hunt paragraph

Mobile about a story

A perfect reading place






Outdoor sounds you hear

Classroom sounds you hear

Five qualities





Three poems

A chapter

A story in a magazine

One encyclopedia page




A greeting card

A map of your school

A bookmark for a friend

A book jacket for a book

A diagram of your classroom

A photo collage about a book 

A taped book report






A letter to a friend

A letter to an author

A biography of yourself

A poem about a friend

Three math word problems

A story about your school

A recipe

An invitation

A thank you note

Directions from one place to another

Self interview

Script for play

Movie review

Story character profiles

 Start a "What I Learned Today" journal. 




More Suggestions:

Match states with their capital cities.

Brainstorm ideas for class projects.

Practice math facts or spelling words.

Create a new animal, using parts from many other animals.


Foreign countries

Cities in home state

Kinds of flowers

Kinds of gems


Breeds of dogs




Au contraire...



Early Finishers - eliminate the issue!



by Joan Warwick
(Newcastle, NSW, Australia)

The notion of early finishers suggests that more capable children are whizzing through the work and are then left waiting for something to do.

Teachers should be looking at differentiation of the curriculum, making tasks more complex or having higher expectations of product for these students.

Use a tool such as "Blooms Taxonomy" to assist in increasing the cognitive demands of learning experiences. Think about things such as spelling lists and don't have children "learning" words they can already spell.

In maths problem solving, add an extra step to problems children are solving.



The classical musical conductor, Herbert Von Karajan, 

climbed into a taxi and, to the driver's question, 

"Where to?" replied,

"It doesn't matter. I've got something going on everywhere."