3 Math Extension Activities for Early Finishers

Do you dread hearing, “I’m DONE!”? As a math teacher I am always focused on helping each and every kiddo and some need more help than others. I knew I needed math extension activities for my early finishers that were meaningful, engaging, and easy for them to complete with little to no direction from me. Are you wondering what to do with your early finishers in your elementary math classroom? Check out my 3 favorite math extension activities for early finishers.

#1 - Weekly Math Challenge

My students have LOVED our Weekly Math Challenge. Every Monday I post a new challenge and my early finishers can work throughout the week to solve it and put their guess in an envelope. On Fridays I pick a winner from the envelope. These challenges are super engaging, usually related to our content, and take me less than 5 minute to prep. 

                                                                       4x4 math grid with numbers in each box. Students have to connect numbers to create addition or subtraction equations.

Where do I get ideas? Everywhere! Instagram, Facebook, my own ideas, etc. Check out @awesomenicity and @lesliecornettconsulting on Instagram for some great, no prep math challenges.

What are Math Challenges?  Puzzles, brain teasers, or open ended questions that get my students thinking and applying the math we are learning. These are great extension activities because they allow students to use higher level thinking skills.

What about the kids who aren’t early finishers? Usually at some point throughout the week every kid has a chance to work on the problem. The ones who are struggling get extra quality time with me and it seems as if they aren’t bothered by missing out on the challenges. That’s the joys of the littles…they still love time with their teacher. 🙂

#2 - No Prep Math Centers

Your students will love playing extra math center games as an early finisher activity. I always have a few centers handy for them to choose from when they finish their work. If you pick centers from a previous unit students will know how to play, plus it’s a great way to work in some spiral review. Dice games, gameboards that just need flashcards added to them, or math fact coloring sheets also work great!



Low on Time? I love emailing no prep games and math activities out so don’t forget to sign up above so you don’t miss out on all the free goodies!


Want More? Check out my 1st Grade Dice Centers and 4th Grade Dice Centers on TpT for no prep early finisher activities that you can start using today!

#3 - Online Games

A laptop is shown with an equation. There are various fruits with numbers on them scattered on the screen. Students have to click on the fruit with the correct answer.Online games are great because they are engaging, free, FUN, and zero prep for you! Click on the picture above to check out some of my favorites on my Math Resources page or go to Sheppard Software and Tang Math Games to check them out for yourself!


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